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Goal! Have you reached your goal? Share your success story and celebrate your victory!

Fifty and feeling fabulous!

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Old 05-12-2012, 11:20 AM   #1
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Default Fifty and feeling fabulous!

Today is my fiftieth birthday. I’m celebrating at goal weight! I lost over 70 pounds since August of 2009 and I want to thank everyone here at 3 Fat Chicks, especially the participants of the Beck Diet Solution thread and our moderator, BillBlueEyes.

Here’s my story.

After a couple of yo-yo experiences in my late twenties and early thirties, I gave up on the notion of dieting for over a decade. Then, several years ago, I made small changes toward more natural and local foods, leading to a gradual 40-pound weight loss over a couple of years. That was great, but it lasted about two months. I gained it all back in one year while retaining many of my new good habits alongside a slew of old bad habits that returned with a vengeance.

My parents both died in their sixties of obesity-related diseases. I had been taking blood pressure medication for over a decade when I started this journey. I had arthritis in my knees and hips and frequently suffered from lower back pain. When I weighed 240 pounds I struggled to get down on the ground and back up again which limited my ability to pursue two favorite hobbies: gardening and photography. I wanted to lose weight in order to live longer and to feel better during that longer life.

Today, my blood pressure is normal without medication. I rarely feel pain and when I do get a twinge in my knees, hip, or back, I recover much quicker than I used to. I can squat, kneel, or sit on the ground, and get back up with grace and ease. This all makes me very happy!

I’m a librarian, so it’s no surprise that I found my solution in books.

The first book, The End of Overeating by David Kessler, helped me work out why the overeating habits returned. The food industry engineers hyper palatable foods and markets them ubiquitously. Our brains and bodies were not designed for this eating environment. The book had limited details about how to deal with the problem but advocated cognitive behavioral techniques, like making rules.

After I read the Kessler book, I made two rules for myself:

1) No eating in the car
2) No eating anything purchased from a gas store or drugstore

Those two rules eliminated my junk food habits, cold turkey. That was enough to halt my weight gain but didn’t do much to start a loss.

Next, I turned to Judith Beck who I knew was the author to go to for applying cognitive behavioral techniques to weight loss. She wrote the books The Beck Diet Solution and The Complete Beck Diet for Life. There are reviews of both books linked from the Beck Diet Thread on 3FC: Book Reviews. The Complete Beck Diet for Life got me started. Its format of doing several tasks per phase worked better for me than The Beck Diet Solution which has a one task per day format. I eventually worked my way through both books and continue to use the techniques.

The techniques that work best for me are:

• Weigh every morning and treat the number as useful data
• Plan all meals and snacks the night before
• Report to my “coaches” in the Beck Diet thread, daily
• Read my list of advantages to losing weight every day
• Declare hunger to be not an emergency

I do none of those 100%, but the intention to do them daily and succeeding about 90% of the time seems to be good enough.

The plan is less important than having a plan, so I tried several, switching when I stalled or got bored. I knew from my previous experiences of weight loss that exchange plans worked best for me. My current plan combines what I learned from the exchange plans that I tried – the government’s food pyramid from 2009, the DASH diet, The Complete Beck Diet for Life, and Richard Simmon’s Food Mover.

My eating style is natural, whole foods, many of them local and some from my vegetable garden. I cook a lot from scratch including baking all of our bread in a bread machine and making my own salad dressings. I eat meat, but sparingly and mostly fish and chicken. I eat full-fat, full-flavored cheeses, but in tiny servings. The one sweet treat that I seem to be able to eat regularly without triggering the old binge behaviors is ice cream. I don’t have it in the house unless its homemade frozen yogurt, but I do eat small servings when I’m out and about. I rarely eat baked goods unless I bake them myself because I continue to have control problems in that area. I haven’t had a donut since August 2009 and may never have another (it took ten months for that craving to disappear, why would I want to go through that again?). Potato chips fall in the “one is too many, a thousand is never enough,” category for me so I avoid them as well. When I eat out or at family gatherings, I focus on vegetables and eat tiny portions of everything else.

I lost the last five pounds in ten days, the fastest weight loss of my entire journey, when I gave up Diet Coke a couple of months ago. I can’t explain that.

Exercise has been important, too. Thanks to all the chicks who participate in the monthly Exercise Challenge thread (May Exercise Challenge)! I set a goal each month for the number of minutes I will exercise. I worked up to 1800 minutes at one point, but recently I’ve found 1400 minutes to be about right for me now. The higher number, though, I think helped when I was actively losing pounds. I count everything in those minutes – yoga, qi gong, gardening (although if it’s not very energetic, I only count half the minutes), walking, treadmill, exercise DVDs, and dancing. In the last few months, I’ve become more consistent with doing full-body exercise DVDs that combine cardio with strength training. I aim to do one every other day and I’m seeing and feeling a difference.

I continue to read books to help keep me focused on my healthy lifestyle. Currently, I’m reading Drop Dead Healthy by A.J. Jacobs, one of the most amusing books I’ve read on the topic.

I am thrilled to be fifty years old and entering the next phase of my life healthy, happy, and vibrant.
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Last edited by gardenerjoy : 05-12-2012 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 05-12-2012, 01:02 PM   #2
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gardenerjoy, congratulations on achieving your goal, and happy 50th birthday!! What a great goal story; your journey demonstrates all the persistence and commitment that I've seen in your posts in the challenge forum, and I'm so happy for you reading about your successes and the positive ways in which they have impacted your life.

And your monthly exercise challenge thread has had a huge impact on me, so thank you for that! I think I first joined it more than a year ago, and it's has been a big factor in motivating me to get my exercise in (even when I don't feel like it!) so that I can meet my monthly goal. Thank you for continuing to run that group every month for all of us who rely on it!

I hope you have a wonderful day celebrating your goal and your milestone birthday - you deserve it!
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Began weight loss ~ January 18, 2011 at 280 lbs
Met original goal ~ Normal BMI (147 lbs) on March 18, 2012 Goal story and photos
Met revised goal ~ 135 lbs on May 12, 2012
Pregnancy break May 2012 - January 2013!
Current: 138.4 (April 14, 2014)
Eventual goal: Maintaining at 130-135?

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Old 05-12-2012, 02:41 PM   #3
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Congratulations for meeting your goal. Happy birthday.
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Old 05-12-2012, 03:49 PM   #4
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Congrats and HAPPY B-DAY...Thanks for sharing. For people like me who are still on the journey, these posts help get us through those "tough" days. Celebrate today....you deserve it
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Old 05-12-2012, 03:52 PM   #5
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Happy Birthday! I had the same number myself, back in January. 1962 was a very good year
Congratulations on reaching your goal, I found your story very interesting and inspirational. I'm just about to start on Beck, (I found your link to this thread by reading the May Coaches/Buddies thread ), so I hope to get to know you better as I spend time on the Beck board.

Well done, you must be feeling fabulous!
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:28 PM   #6
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Thumbs up Such a great story.

As a member of the Beck thread(s) I can say that I have seen your progress over the years and I know how hard you work / and have worked to be where you are. You deserve to feel every drop of success and achievement that you have created for yourself. What an inspiration you are. Thanks for that! Have a fabulous birthday!!
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Old 05-17-2012, 11:59 PM   #7
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Congrats on achieving the goal you set. Happy Belated Birthday!
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Old 05-30-2012, 09:04 PM   #8
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Congrats! you are a true hero
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Old 05-30-2012, 09:07 PM   #9
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Congratulations! I love feeling healthier at 50 than I did at 30. It just feels like a great way to enter the next decade.
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Old 07-01-2012, 09:41 PM   #10
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Congrats and Happy Birthday! I turned 50 this month, also

i loved your story and i love it when people include their full story if/when they post their pics, every little detail DOES help even though we all know it basically boils down to portion control, clean eating and moving your body.

What really stuck out at me was the Diet Coke. I finally decided to tackle my weight issues this last year after 15 yrs of being overweight and went from a size 22 to a size 12 in about 10 months time (or more) and interestingly never really drank soda's at all while i was overweight but i am picking up the habit of drinking about 2-3 a week and i am thinking that i should just go back to drinking NONE. They aren't a trigger for me as far as i know but kind of a "treat" but maybe they do do something physiological in the body as far as weight loss (well i know artificial sweeteners are bad) so thank you for that, i think i will drop it for a month and see what happens.

I think you found the right keys: CONSCIENTIOUS eating and moving your body. Go girl!

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Old 07-02-2012, 03:47 PM   #11
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Good for you, rebelle, for making use of that library card!

Yay, ReillyJ! Going from size 22 to size 12 in 10 months is terrific!
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:04 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gardenerjoy View Post
Today is my fiftieth birthday. Iím celebrating at goal weight! I lost over 70 pounds since August of 2009 and I want to thank everyone here at 3 Fat Chicks, especially the participants of the Beck Diet Solution thread and our moderator, BillBlueEyes.
.....

I am thrilled to be fifty years old and entering the next phase of my life healthy, happy, and vibrant.

What a great story and I congratulate you on your perseverance and now you feel so fab and vibrant! I feel your joy and you so deserve it because you are so worth it! What a great attitude about life awesome!
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Old 07-07-2012, 10:32 PM   #13
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Congratulations! You are an inspiration.
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Old 08-26-2012, 09:25 AM   #14
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Joy, I'm late to your birthday party but I still wanted to tell you that your story is so inspirational. Congrats on being fifty and fab! I'll be fifty in January and hope to be freakin' fantastic on my day! I wish we were closer and we could celebrate together.
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Old 08-26-2012, 11:10 AM   #15
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Thanks, losermom! That fiftieth birthday is a great motivator. I'm looking forward to celebrating yours on 3FC!
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