I'm new to the forum. Just posted in the intro section of Maintainers. As that would suggest, I'm currently maintaining, but I wanted to post my story and eventually some photos.
I'm a formerly obese 37-year-old guy from Kentucky. I lost about 115 lbs in 2000-01 and my wife lost 55 lbs at the same time on a low-glycemic, whole-foods diet and a program of regular exercise. Mostly hiking. We've kept it off since.
A wake-up call in the form of a health crisis was my trigger for weight loss. If I suddenly hadn't become very concerned for my health and future I wonder how long it might have taken me to realize I needed the radical shift in lifestyle that I was to adopt.
(This is the short version. I don't want to bore people with a long recounting of my journey and descriptions of my health, but feel free to ask me anything about it.)
At that time I came to an important conclusion.
I possibly had something seriously wrong with me.
Doctors could not understand what was happening to me, let alone help me. All most wanted to do was to push psychoactive drugs on me.
I knew I was a very unhealthy person.
I knew I had better do all I could for my health.
I always knew what I needed to do to lose weight.
I knew it would require a radical change in lifestyle.
Before this, I just never had a good enough reason to do it.
I significantly cut my calories immediately. At meals I filled up on foods I knew were not very calorically dense. I cut out snacks entirely. My wife, Marti was worried about me and also unhappy with her weight, so we made sort of a pact to adhere to a strict plan of low calorie meals and gradually increasing exercise. I was doing a lot of research about nutrition, never having cared much about it in the past. We were doing a sort of low- glycemic, low-fat diet. I happened across a book by a well-known gerontologist named Roy Walford. He had done enormous research on what happens to animals and people if you feed them a diet of high nutrient density food, while reducing total calories by up to 30%. Turns out they live quite a bit longer than animals fed a regular diet. He advocated a diet called CRON (Caloric Restriction with Optimum Nutrition). CRON is the only proven method by which the lifespan of animals has been shown to be significantly increased. His book (Beyond the 120 Year Diet) helped us refine our diet. It's a real bible of nutritional requirement.
We made sure we were getting what we needed while adhering to a low calorie diet of lots of vegetables, legumes, some lean meat, nuts, unsaturated oils, some low-fat dairy and a little low-glycemic whole grains (like barley and quinoa). It was a real change at first, but once we got into a routine and began to see the rewards of shrinking pant sizes, we were seriously motivated. We began hiking. We took it slow at first with low hills and short distances and worked our way up a little each day.
A the end of about 9 months I had lost 115 lbs and Marti had lost 55. We were both pretty satisfied with our level of fitness and have managed to maintain it for over 5 years now. We no longer restrict our calories at that original level, we eat the same whole foods, just more of them. It's a challenge to keep such a thing up but I may resume it soon again for health reasons.
I will add that I am no longer diabetic or hypertensive. Blood sugar and pressure dropped practically overnight when I began our regimen.
However the original health problem that initially got my attention has continued to recur over the years in various forms. A few years ago I began to have arthritis (I was only 33!) and it was decided that I have some kind of relapsing-remitting rheumatic condition. Possibly even some kind of post Lyme syndrome. I have tried various therapies for this and now manage to keep it under control most of the time.
I have no doubt I would be in far worse shape had I not been able take control of my obesity.
I also have to say I believe it would have been much more difficult (maybe impossible) without the support and solidarity of my wife. I have often said we constitute a support group of 2.
For me it all boiled down to a simple philosophy:
I had to have a reason good enough to motivate me to do the right thing for my health every day. It wasn't enough to want to look better.
Maybe everyone can find their reason.
I would like to do everything I can to help other people on this journey.
Some before and after photos posted here:
Thanks, John. That is an inspiring story. I agree that everyone has to find their reason because without a reason there is no motivation. Five years maintaining is very, very admirable. Congratulations!
Thanks for sharing your story of your weight loss journey you are an inspiration to others. Congratulations on maintaining your weight loss. Yes I agree you must find your own reason for wishing to change your life style and this be the reason for you motivation.
look forward to seeing you around the boards.
Wow, what a great story, John! Thanks so much for sharing it. :) I'm especially impressed with your six years staying at goal - that's an awesome achievement! :carrot:
We're looking forward to hearing lots more from you. :D
That is quite the story John. I can fully relate to you and everything you've said. I am so glad that you found your "reason" and made the commitement to a better and healthier life through diet and exercise. You and your wife are lucky to have one another. Since I'm not even at goal yet, it's great for me to hear about someone maintaining their incredible weightloss for as long as you have. Thank you for sharing your story. Wishing you continued success.
TERIFFIC, Congratulations John and Marti !!!
What a wonderful story! Congratulations to you and your wife on your successful weight loss! :)
I love your story, and thank you for posting! It's reat you've maintained for so long - what an inspiration!
Thanks for all the wonderful comments and support. We never get tired of having folks tell us we're doing a good job! It's a part of what keeps our resolve.
And what is really great is to look at the progress photos (and numbers) of folks replying to our threads over the last couple of days. So good to know that there are other people out there who have been through the same experience as you and are successfully dealing with the same issues everyday. Meg, rockinrobin, chick_in_the_hat, and jtammy (Great job you guys!!) are some of the photos we've seen so far (I'm sure there are lots more), and we really appreciate everyone sharing their experience. We've just started exploring the Goal section.
Marti has told me it's okay to post a couple photos of her progress in the photo thread too. So I'll do that right away -before she changes her mind! She says she'll get her own account here shortly.
John and Marti
Please tell Marti that we're all really looking forward to meeting her too! :D
Wow. You gave me the inspiration I needed today.
Wow, John, that is a beautiful story. My favorite part about your success is being able to share it so closely with your wife. You are so brave to acknowledge your problems and by doing so, gain control over them.
And you're great to so openly acknowledge compliments. It's good for yourself, and good for others to know you appreciate what they say.
I am on a similar journey that started with being so empowered by my pregnancy (instead of being afraid of it), that I had a pain-free birth of twins that bonded me tightly to them and my husband and my older daughter. I have gradually applied my new attitude to all aspects of my life, and I'm becoming a different person. I think that many, many successful people would agree that your waistline is not the only aspect to change.
While it's hard to know a person's heart over the computer, you seem very learned, confident and dedicated to yourself. Congratulations on all your HARD WORK!
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