I made it finally (long story) 60 lbs off.
I put my photos up in the goal photo album. So I was always kind of tubby as a kid, but not bad. In fact, my junior year of high school I was 133 and 5'4. Then, I went to work and I jumped up a little to 155 and 5'5. I always *felt* I had a problem with my weight but didn't really. During this time... I skated also and would probably spend 4 hours at the rink on a daily basis. That doesn't mean I did 4 hours of skating but... about an hour. If I wasn't skating I was working.
Then at the end of the summer of my senior year within one week, I (1) got my drivers license; (2) quit skating and (3) went to college. At college I just did what everyone else did. I got a muffin for breakfast at Dunkin Donuts. I ate in the cafeteria for lunch and study groups... well, we had a lot of brownies, MacDonalds and stuff.
November of that year my brother comes out and goes... "what is that on your arms"... I didn't know. there were these "marks". Finally I asked my mom and she confirmed what he was saying --- stretch marks. I went to the bathroom scale and saw that I had gained... 40 lbs. I was 195. I was upset but decided I would lose it. I never quite could. There is a difference between losing 10 lbs and 40.
First serious attempt.. Weight Watchers. I lost 25 lbs pretty easily. But then, for over a year, I was at a Plateau. WWs was not helpful. One day they would say -- eat more -- one day -- eat less. I had faith that it would come off. But then I went across the US for grad school. Although I thought I ate reasonably -- on the 7 day trip -- when I weighed in I was up 10 lbs.. TEN. I lost it and ate myself up 35 lbs. Second serious attempt, 2006. I tried on my own and did lose down to 48lbs.. but it took two years and any off plan food was like a hair trigger. Two treats at an x-mas party made me gain 10 and then, I broke a toe and I gained 10 more. Eventually I was back to 214. Both of these diets I was in gyms for about an hour.
Finally, disgusted, I googled the term.. Very Low Calorie Diet. I had a hunch that -- for whatever reason -- I needed to eat very little. And I found the HMR plan. How ironic that this plan was done at my own doctors office and I didn't know it. It seemed to have everything that was perfect for me. Prepackaged food so I could be SURE I was eating what I thought I was, and I wouldn't have to cook. Medical Monitoring -- so I would know if low calories were hurting me and it seemed to promise fast results. Something I now realized I had to have or I would run out of motivation before I hit goal.
So I started it one day before New Years 2011. They asked me at first what I wanted to weigh and I said 155... never thinking I would ever get there, but it was the weight before college. My first week I lost 9 lbs... it was amazing. Every single day that first week, I got on the scale and it registered a loss. And then, for about 6 weeks, I lost about 3 lbs. Then it started being just one. Most plans... I would lose a lb.. then gain one, then lose one than gain one. That didn't happen here. It was a straight loss... with only a few minimal plateaus which were like one week and likely PMS.
Around June I had lost enough I quit HMR and finally reached goal around the middle of July. Since that time I have been maintaining on my own and I actually lost a few lbs. But at the moment I am stable. This time... I amazingly did not gain hand over foot after getting off the diet. It has now been three months of maintaining and I am still the same... that is major for me. I continue to add back food in kind of a reverse zig zag.
Of course, I am a little greedy so come January, I am going to try to drop from 155 to 135. I think I can do it.
What do I think worked this time? I don't know.. but here are my guesses.
(1) I suspect I have always needed very low calories to diet. Perhaps as I child I didn't notice because I was so active. It is possible that some people just need less than others and I always suspected I was one of them but had no way to cut calories so much and be monitored. My first clue that maybe I needed low calories was gaining 40 lbs in 3 months in college.
(2) I also suspect I might have been insulin resistant and such a tremendous cut in calories (and carbs) cured that. My fasting blood sugar has fallen from 95 to 80(sometimes less). I now burn food like a thin person.
(3) In 2010 my doctor discovered I had almost no Vitamin D in my blood -- since that time I have increased it to 60 ng per ml. Vitamin d is known to have a pro weight loss effect.
Everyone is so amazed with me. I get so many compliments on a daily basis, and this time, I refuse to gain it back. I am hopeful that I won't because of vitamin D and also what I have learned about eating high volume low calorie food. I am happy but determined. And I write this story with one lesson in mind. NEVER GIVE UP. I finally found what worked for me. In 1991 if you had told me I wasn't getting enough Vitamin D I never wouldn't have understood you, but more vitamin d and some low calorie food and shazam.... BINGO... NEVER GIVE UP!