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Glory's very long weight loss journey

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Old 05-17-2006, 12:38 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2005
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S/C/G: 200/Ethan born 1-11-13/130

Default Glory's very long weight loss journey

Weight Loss Attempts - Why Dieting Made me Fat

1985 high school, weighed around 140 lbs. I remember trying to eat lower cal, but not really knowing what that meant. I remember eating toast for breakfast with a thin scraping of butter and jelly and riding my bike all around the neighborhood. I remember the scale reading 133 lbs, the lowest it would weigh for 20 years. Just gave up and quit doing it, reverted back to old habits/way of eating.

1989 summer in college - weighed 151. For 4 weeks I ate nothing but a bowl of rice krispies and an orange every day (Dexatrim was involved) I got down to 137. Stopped "dieting," gained all the weight back and more and got 2 lovely stretchmarks on my stomach due to the weight coming back on so quickly. I distinctly remember what triggered the end - a binge on 4th of July. Specifically O'Boise's potato chips. I had been restricting so long, I had one chip and couldn't stop. I ate all day until I was ill and that was the end of that.

1992 college, sr. year - weighed 175. From Jan - June, I did "low fat." Pretty much anything I wanted as long as it was low fat (including stuff like Snackwells) Got down to around 141 for my lowest weight. I would constantly binge on low fat sugary stuff - those snackwells teddy graham's were a big weakness. Ate a lot of pasta and white baked potatoes. From this diet, I did incorporate some very long term healthy habits that have stuck with me through today - greatly reduced the amount of fried foods, no mayo, no more full fat salad dressing, no butter, very little sugary soda. I also really cut back on meat during this time.

1992-1999 Managed to gain/lose, gain/lose but stayed around 150ish. After losing all that weight, I knew "how" to do it. If I wanted to lose weight, I would just restrict for a bit and the weight would come off, and then I would stop. And the weight would come back on. Then I would lose it. Then I would gain it back.

99 - weighed 150, had my jaw wired shut for surgery, lost 10 lbs on a liquid diet, gained it all back very quickly. Unavoidable - I really couldn't eat solid foods. Was around 145 or so. I think this set me up for the rapid weight gain that happened in 2000 after I started working at my new job, I gained a lot of weight...quickly.

1999-2004 - weight went from 150 to 190. Lots of wishing to lose weight, very few real attempts lasting longer than 2-3 days. Got down to 170 one time before a big work trip, gained it all back right away though.

04 - weighed 195+ (I had stopped weighing myself, so I am not really sure of my highest weight), decided to completely overhaul eating and concentrate on whole foods with high nutritional impact and avoid foods with low nutritional impact. Super food diet! Currently weigh 128 lbs - 18 months maintenance.

Dieting made me fat. To me, “dieting” always meant a severe restriction in calories and attempts to be “perfect”. Two things always happened:
  1. I would restrict so much, my body would binge. I would feel like an out of control loser, a failure and just give up.
  2. I would reach a goal weight and immediately return to the unhealthy eating habits that made me heavy in the first place. Every I hear someone say “I can’t wait until this diet is over until I can eat X again” I just cringe.

When I decided to change my life, I carefully looked at my previous weight loss attempts to see why I kept failing. I noticed that I could lose weight but I could not keep weight off. This time, I concentrated on long term maintenance from from day 1. I had to give up that crazy idea I had been clinging to since high school - if you cut calories and lose weight, you can cut MORE calories and lose MORE weight. That fallacy is what made me go from a 140 lb high school student to a 200 lb 35 year old. Dieting made me fat.

I wanted this time to be different. No more being overly restrictive (no more 800 calorie days!), no more diets that I would "start" and "stop," it had to be sustainable. I needed a plan for what to do after I reached my goal weight.

How Super Foods Did Save My Life

In 1999, I weighed 150 lbs and got a great new job. I love my job, but it's very stressful and takes up a lot of my time. My job also has an awesome cafeteria. It was a combination of staying late at work and eating dinner out of the snack machine, not working out and basically just eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted - I ended up weighing around 200 lbs.

I spent a couple of years miserable with my weight - fantasizing and wishing I could lose weight. I knew I had to eat less and exercise more, but it just seemed like TOO MUCH WORK, I couldn't get over my depression and unhappiness to make any kind of positive change.

I let myself go, quit wearing make up, quit buying clothes, I basically wore the same pair of size 18 loose fit Eddie Bauer jeans for 2 years. I let my hair go long and curly - I kept telling people I was planning to donate it to Locks for Love, but in my heart I knew I felt too unattractive to bother with my hair every day. I quit looking at myself in the mirror, or down at myself in the shower. I tried to make myself disappear.

In July of last year, a couple of things happened. First, my size 18 jeans got tight. I complained to my boyfriend and he said just buy a bigger pair. I couldn't face the thought of buying size 20 jeans. Then, I was in a public bathroom and sat down and cut my outer thigh on a metal trash receptacle. I bled and I cried, I was too fat for a public bathroom. Finally, my mom insisted that I would come visit her for Christmas - she's a naturally genetically skinny person, she had never seen me that heavy, I couldn't bear to go to Texas and have her NOT mention my weight and talk around it for the entire visit.

I was in a bookstore and saw this book called Super Foods Rx: 14 Foods That Will Save Your Life by Steven Pratt. I was idly looking through it and what I read actually made me excited. The author thought that some foods were nutritionally more powerful than other foods - some foods could fight disease, maintain youth and prevent age-related brain degeneration (for the record, the super foods are blueberries, broccoli, beans, tea, walnuts, soy, oranges, tomatoes, pumpkin, yogurt, spinach, salmon, oats, turkey). The book was so exciting, I bought it - what happened next was pretty magical to me.

I decided that day to completely change everything. I wanted to make changes to be healthier, to lose weight and most importantly to lose weight long term. I did not go on a diet, I changed my lifestyle - this is forever. Whole foods in, processed foods out, 5 veggies, 4 fruits, 2-3 dairy, 2-3 whole grain, 10 different super foods, protein with every meal, green and black tea every day, between 1400-1600 calories - I concentrated on what I should be eating. My goal is to eat whole, nutritionally powerful foods every day and avoid foods which are not good for me. I gave up the following foods forever - fast food, processed baked goods, sugary soda. I limit the following foods - booze, home made baked goods, fried foods.

I completely changed my mindset - I am not depriving myself, I am giving myself the gift of health.

To lose weight, I did the following:

1. Count calories - be accountable for everything I eat. That meant keeping a daily food journal.
2. Eat 10 super foods a day, concentrate on nutritionally powerful foods.
3. Work out at least 3 times a week.

The weight just flew off, I weighed 163 lbs by October and 153 lbs by Christmas (good visit with my mom, btw). I now weigh 128 lbs. I went from a tight size 18 to a comfy size 8 (a size 6 sometimes!!). My waist went from 37" to 27", I lost 6" off each thigh. I lost nearly 8" off my chest - going from a 42DD to a 36C.

Changing my way of eating has given me so much more energy. I am constantly amazed by how good I feel, all the time. I have been sick one time since July 2004. When I was eating all that processed junk, I was drowsy and tired all the time. I used to fall asleep in my office every afternoon. I don't feel that giving up processed foods is a deprivation at all, I feel amazing.

Before and after pictures -

http://gloriana.myphotoalbum.com/vie...umName=album02

The big plateau - eat more to lose more

I started losing weight in July 2004. I weighed around 195 lbs. The weight came off very steadily, 1-2 lbs a week (with a few weeks of no loss here and there). In February 2005, I began to plateau at 140 lbs. This was very frustrating - my goal weight was 135 and I had a huge desire to see the scale say something UNDER 140 lbs. Just 1-3-something.

I tried eating less, working out more. I weighed myself everyday. I was pretty miserable. But, I never gave up.

Around May, I realized something pretty cool. The weight may not be going down, but it wasn't going up either. I was maintaining, something I had never been able to do before. I decided to quit being miserable and start enjoying all my hard work. I did look fabulous! I bought a bunch of cute clothes in size 10 and really enjoyed that summer.

I increased my calories very slowly to 1800-2000. Imagine my surprise when the scale said 138! I wasn't even trying to lose weight! In October 2005, I went on a 4 week business trip to Asia. I tried to make healthy choices and did a ton of walking, my pants were loose when I got home and I found out I weighed 135 (my goal weight!). I'm still not sure what happened, I think my body just started to feel like there was plenty of food coming in, no reason to hang on to fat reserves. In December - January, I lost 7 more lbs. I have been fairly stable at 126-130 since January 2006. My body seems to be very happy at this weight and so am I

I had to eat more to lose more. It seems counter productive, but it is definitely what worked for me to break the plateau.

It was interesting to look at my weight loss over time. I started in July 2004 around 200 lbs. I weighed 160 lbs by October and 150 lbs by December. I started plateauing at 140 in February 2005. I reached 138 in May 2005, 135 in October 2005, 127 in January 2006. It took me 6 months to lose 55 lbs and then another 9 months to lose the last 15 lbs. Weight loss DEFINITELY slowed down as I weighed less!
__________________
SIX YEARS at maintenance weight!

My very long weight loss story

"I saw an angel in the marble and I chiseled until I set it free."
Michelangelo

Last edited by Glory87 : 08-11-2006 at 12:33 AM.
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Old 05-17-2006, 12:40 PM   #2
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Default Glory's very long weight loss journey - continued.

What I’m grateful for

I am really grateful to the following things which helped me to lose weight:

1. I love fruits and vegetables and I don't like sugary soda. I didn't really realize what a huge advantage that was.

2. I don't binge. Although in my past, I've had some bingey moments, not one incident since I made over my life back in July.

3. I don't crave sweets. This is very weird for me, but all last week there was a huge pile of pastries at the back of the conference room and I honestly wasn't tempted at all. I made it through Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's Day and Easter with ZERO candy - this from the person who could eat a bag of Hershey's Kisses! It wasn't that I didn't eat them so much as it is - I didn't WANT them. Not even my beloved PEEPs (that I could eat a box of in one sitting).

4. I like the taste of plain green and black tea.

5. John - for making it so easy to eat healthy at home, for not bringing junk and snacks into the house, for cooking healthy foods, for menu planning and grocery shopping. For knowing all the Super Foods, for listening to me babble about foods and calories and food choices and being supportive.

6. Having a refrigerator and a microwave at work, having a little cafeteria downstairs with healthy soup/salad choices for lunch.

7. The funds to eat healthy - this stuff is expensive.

8. Time in my life to plan, shop, make snacks, pack lunches.

9. Doing some physical activity. As much as I don't like exercise, I'm proud of myself every morning I drag myself out of bed to work out at 6.

10. I don't know if it's willpower or what honestly, but whatever is helping me STICK TO THIS. It's been over 18 months, I still feel great, no urge to eat unhealthy foods, no cravings for fast food. I can still say no to candy at work. I have no idea why I'm so successful, but I'm so grateful.


The Rules

Rule 1 – I read this great book called Super Foods RX: 14 Food that Will Change Your Life by Steven Pratt.

Super Foods Rx: 14 Foods that can save your life

I made a goal to completely overhaul my eating in order to make me the healthiest person I could be. I have a family history of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s. I am very interested in the science of using food as preventative measures against these diseases. When I look at a food option I think, "will this make me healthier?”

Super foods are: tomato (including watermelon), spinach (all leafy greens), whole grains (brown rice, whole wheat, quinoa, barley etc), yogurt, tea (green or black), pumpkin (carrots, sweet potato, orange pepper), orange, walnuts (all nuts), beans, blueberries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries), broccoli, salmon (halibut, canned albacore tuna), soy, turkey

My goal is to eat 1 food from at least 10 super food groups a day. So, if I eat blueberries and strawberries, that only counts as 1 since they are in the same group. I try to eat only whole, healthy foods and I try not to eat processed foods.

Rule 2 – No radical, unsustainable changes. When I first decided I wanted to change my eating habits to be stronger and healthier, I knew I needed something I could stick with forever. I couldn't radically change how I eat - there's no way to maintain that long term. Plus, I had to take my boyfriend into consideration. We've been living together 8 years, both vegetarians, what could I change that meant we could still eat dinner together nearly every night? I looked at our usual dinner menus. We ate a lot of stir fries, curry dishes, pasta and quesadillas/enchiladas.

With John's support, we switched from white rice to brown rice, regular pasta to whole wheat pasta, white flour tortillas to whole wheat tortillas. We added more veggies to our meals (broccoli in stir fry, wilted spinach in pasta sauce) and reduced the amount of cheese, oil and butter we cooked with. I also became more aware of a true serving size, actually eating a single serving of brown rice or whole wheat pasta (a little kitchen scale is one of the best purchases I ever made). For example, I used to eat a HUGE plate of pasta with a little sauce and a little salad. I now eat a small plate of pasta (carefully measured 2.0 oz serving) with a LOT of sauce and a BIG salad.

Rule 3 - As much fruit and vegetables as I want. No counting, no nothing. If I want an apple – I eat an apple. If I want a whole bag of sugar snap peas - I eat the bag. I aim for 4 servings of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables every day. Leafy greens and brightly colored veggies are my priority. (dried fruits are the exception, they are so condensed it’s easy to eat too many and they pack a calorie punch, I’m much more aware of an actual serving size of dried fruit).

Rule 4 - Some sort of protein at every meal, protein helps me feel FULL. There are lots of good ways to get protein - lean meats, tofu, dairy, beans, legumes, peanut butter. As a former vegetarian, I’ve added some turkey into my menu planning and I’m eating a ton more fish (salmon, tuna).

Rule 5 - Avoid processed crap. All those chemicals just weighed me down and the unscrupulous corporate *******s like to sneak in trans fat and high fructose corn syrup. I haven’t had fast food since July and I hope to live without it forever. No fast food, very little processed sugar, no empty carbs - the goal is good food that is good for me. Since I started eating “clean” I have so much more energy – I used to be sleepy every afternoon at work, so tired I would doze off at the keyboard. That hasn’t happened in months.

Rule 6 – I never said no to carbs, I never stopped eating them. I did switch from empty carbs to better carbs. I try to include whole wheat bread (note, not just wheat bread, WHOLE wheat bread), sweet potatoes, whole wheat pasta or brown rice every day. My carb grams are normally 200+ a day, way over what Atkins considers okay even in maintenance mode. Although all people are different, in my case, staying at 200+ grams of carbs didn't stop weight loss AT ALL and allowed me to keep eating the foods I love - key to sustainable weight loss.

Rule 7 - Fat is a good thing, it makes hair shiny and protects organs and brain. I wouldn’t run out and eat a tub of butter or anything, but I do eat healthy fats like olive oil, peanut butter, dairy (low fat yogurt, cheese), and nuts. I try to eat a handful of nuts every day (walnuts or almonds).

Rule 8 – Drinking – no empty calories. I stick to water and tea, with the occasional non fat, sugar free coffee drink treat. Juice isn't bad for you, but I'd rather eat the fruit - get the healthy fiber and stay full longer. I do miss the occasional glass of red wine in the evening - it's definitely going BACK on the menu for maintenance mode.

Rule 9 – The hardest part for me has been incorporating some kind of exercise – I hate it! I try to do my aerobics/toning tapes at least 5 times a week. I realize the next logical step is to add weight training. Additional muscle mass is very good for me long term! I’ve taken the first baby steps to joining a gym.

Rule number 10 - Don't be hungry. I figure, if I’m hungry, I’m doing it wrong. I count calories now and never go below 1600 (I have recently increased daily calories to 1800 and weight is still coming off). If your calories drop low enough to trick your body into thinking there’s a famine – your body thinks that you are a Paleolithic hunter gatherer who can’t find any roots. Your body will work really hard save you from starvation, it will hold on to the calories in a baby carrot for months if it thought it would help you survive a famine. If you starve yourself, your body will BINGE when it gets a chance, that’s the way we are genetically created. Did the Paleolithic hunter gatherer not stuff themselves on mammoth if they got lucky enough to get one? (oh no, I’ll just eat this root) Heck no, they ate the whole thing and sucked the marrow. We are fighting 450K years of genetics! I eat a lot of small meals and eat before I get hungry! Your body has to know there is tons of food coming in, there is no famine or starvation, it can release the stored fat reserves – you DON’T NEED THEM.

Rule 11 - Plan plan plan plan. I plan and shop so I have healthy food on hand all the time. I plan for meals, I plan for snacks. I sit down on Sunday night and menu plan/grocery stop for the entire week. I keep dried fruit/nuts around for quick boosts. I go to the store at least 3 times a week. I buy food, use plastic baggies to portion it into one size servings. I ALWAYS HAVE options for healthy eating. I have a couple of healthy frozen dinners at home, I have some of that tomato/roasted red pepper soup on hand at work, I have dried fruit stashed at home/work for healthy snacks. On Sunday nights, I make veggie dip and portion it out for the weeks. I cut up 5 days of veggies for snack. I’m never without something healthy to eat. The house is 100% a junk-free zone.

Rule 12– I weigh only ONCE a week. Weight fluctuates too much during the week. A glass of water is HEAVY. Dinner is HEAVY. When I weighed myself every day (sometimes 2, 3 times a day during unsuccessful weight loss attempts) I was so discouraged if the scale moved up. Why bother to work so hard if it just wasn’t WORKING! I might as well eat a donut. Now that I weigh ONCE a week, I see positive results. The scale can be cruel – I use a tape and measure myself once a month and record the results. I had a very long plateau where the weight didn’t move at all – I stayed positive and didn’t give up – I expected weight loss to really slow down once I wasn’t carrying around a 50 lb fat backpack every day.

Rule 13 – I gave myself permission to be a pain in the ***. I'm the coworker that doesn't want to go out for Mexican. I'm the girlfriend that doesn't want to order pizza. If coworkers and friends want to eat crap, I tell them to go have a nice time and I do my own thing. I say no to coworker's birthday cake, I am firm when I remind coworkers NO I do not want a piece of their chocolates they got in Ireland. I am the unfriendly food girl around my office and I have lost over 60 lbs and I am OKAY with that!

Rule 14 - Incremental goals - I set 10 lbs goals and rewarded myself nicely every goal. My rewards have included: new sandals, massage, fancy haircut at an expensive salon, new clothes. When I wanted to lose 60+ lbs, it was just so big and overwhelming, I had to break it up into small chunks that felt doable.

Rule 15 – I have before pictures, I keep track of measurements, I chart my progress with an Excel spreadsheet. I try on my old pants from last summer and they fall straight down. I stay motivated by seeing how far I’ve come.



Health benefits

Last autumn, my job offered a free health screening. For the first time, I saw numerical proof of the benefits of eating healthy, whole foods.

Blood pressure - 106/70 (desirable 120/80 and below)

Total cholesterol - 120 (desirable less than 200)

HDL (the good) cholesterol - 36 (desirable 40+ *see below)

LDL - 61 (desirable less than 100)

Triglycerides - 113 (desirable less than 150)

Glucose - 76 (desirable 60-100)

Body Fat - 25% (desirable 21-32%)

BMI - 21.9

I was initially concerned that my "good" cholesterol was borderline at 36. This is a number which the higher the number the better. The nurse explained that healthy cholesterol levels are measured on a ratio. Since my total cholesterol was so low, I had a ratio of 3.3 well within the "excellent" range (total cholesterol/HDL).

It's nice to see all that hard work paying off! Up until now, the scale has been my only "validation" - it's good for me to see these numbers! Losing weight is great, but my long term goal is HEALTH. I have a family history of diabetes, cancer and alzheimers. I am using diet to fight disease and it looks like I'm doing pretty well.
__________________
SIX YEARS at maintenance weight!

My very long weight loss story

"I saw an angel in the marble and I chiseled until I set it free."
Michelangelo

Last edited by Glory87 : 06-20-2006 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 05-17-2006, 12:43 PM   #3
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Default Glory's very long weight loss journey - continued.

Maintenance

I had to accept, finally, after years of denial and struggling, that this is what I have to do forever to keep the weight off. Once I made the decision, it has felt incredibly easy.

Maintenance is exactly the same as weight loss. I do all the same things. I keep a daily food journal, I try to make healthy decisions at every meal, I still count calories. I still have daily food goals - to eat 10 super foods a day, to eat 5 servings of vegetables, etc. I still weigh myself once a week. If the scale is up, I lower calories for a week until it's back in the maintenance range.

I also don't let a treat meal spiral into a treat weekend or a treat week or a treat month. My treats are usually planned, because it was very easy for me in the past to say "well, I just ate that cheesecake, the diet is ruined for the day, might as well eat these brownies."

I no longer reward myself with food (as much as possible). I still go to restaurant websites before dinner to pick a healthy choices - I don't even open menus at restaurants. I have made 1000 little changes to stay successful, maintenance is just as much work as weight loss, maybe more work, because it is for the rest of my life.

When I was heavy, I was deliberately blind to the calorie/fat content of foods. I just didn't want to know that the "all the way" nachos from Qdoba I ate 1-2 times a week had 1200 calories. I didn't want to know that a Blooming Onion had over 1200 calories. I didn't want to know that my breakfast EVERY DAY at work (cranberry walnut muffin, venti caramel latte with whip had nearly 700 calories and 50 grams of fat). I am now almost hyper-aware of the fat/caloric content in everything. I can't believe the stuff I used to eat so blindly - never again.

I have made so many changes - I used to have to have the biggest of everything. If I ordered a latte, I had to have the venti. Now I get the tall and find it a perfect size. If I split something with a friend, I was always anxious to make sure I got the big piece. Now, I am very conscious to make sure I get the smaller piece. I always take the stairs at work, I park far away in a parking lot so I can walk a few more steps.

I have been maintaining a little over a year now, and I still don't feel "safe" - I am constantly terrified I will gain all the weight back. I actually think the state of fear is a good thing, complacency is what will ruin my weight loss success.

I love everything about being thin - especially shopping. I am slowly replacing my entire wardrobe. I didn't care about shopping for 5 years - I have no accessories. I had to buy belts, shoes, I need a smart bag (been carrying the same hideous black purse for almost 10 years). Shopping is definitely motivation to maintain! I also care more about my personal appearance. I get regular haircuts now and keep my hair colored and my eyebrows groomed. I bought perfume. I still don't wear any make up, but I figure I like my face how it is and why invest so much time/money into something I don't think I need? Being a thin person has changed everything for me, I like pictures of me now, I like looking in the mirror.

There are so many reasons to keep the weight off!

Big Fat Lies

When I was heavy, I made up all kinds of excuses for being heavy. My dad was a big guy so I was destined to be fat. I had big bones. I was a big girl. When I set my initial weight loss goal, I chose 150 because I thought I could never be thinner than 150. Imagine my surprise when I started to lose weight and realized that I have a very small frame. I have tiny little wrists and fingers, I am a small person. I told myself all kinds of lies so I didn't have to try to lose weight. I tried to make myself believe that I would always be heavy, there was no way I could ever be a slender person. Letting go of those lies and believing I could be thin was a huge step.

Sugar Addiction

I was a secret binge eater all my life. I would buy candy bars in secret and eat them. I would buy boxes of cookies and hide them and eat them where no one could see me. I was nearly incapable of having 1 serving of any sweet thing. If I opened a box of cookies and took out 2 cookies and sealed up the package and put it away, I would eat the cookies and then want more cookies. I would fight it for awhile, and then go back to the package, open it, take out 2 cookies and seal the package again. Repeat until the package was empty.

I trace a lot of my unhealthy food habits to my childhood. My brother and I were "latchkey" children beginning when I was 11 years old. We had to come straight home from school and we weren't allowed outside until my parents got home. In the summer, we weren't allowed outside all day long. What else was there to do but watch TV and eat? I used to eat because I was bored. I remember sprinkling sugar on bread and eating it. I remember sneaking into my mom's container of icing and eating icing by the spoonful. I would eat Nestle's chocolate milk by the spoonful, and brown sugar by the spoonful. Anything sweet to give me something to do, give me some pleasure in my boredom. Learning how to fight the afternoon munchies was one of my biggest challenges for weight loss. I used to eat junk all afternoon at work (especially the buy 1 get 1 free pastries from the bakery downstairs after work!).

I gave up sugar almost by accident. When I decided to change my life and eat super foods, I was really concentrating on what TO eat and not really what NOT to eat. I didn't even realize I had quit eating sugar until I started to realize that my attitudes about food were changing.

I remember standing in line at Qdoba, waiting for my healthy naked vegetarian burrito (rice, black beans, salsa, romaine) and eyeing the chocolate chip cookies by the register. In the past, I would have had to have had one - what kind of dinner didn't include dessert? I realized I had no interest in the cookies, none. It was really fascinating to look at the cookies and not want a cookie. Around the same time I participated in a conference that started every morning with a heaping table of delectable pastries - my big weakness. No interest in the pastries.

It took a long time to get brave enough to add treats back to my daily life. I was terrified I would awaken the sleeping sugar monster. I still don't allow packages of cookies or ice cream in the house. I also don't buy a lot of cereal. These are definitely trigger foods for me and why tempt myself - I want to be successful!

I usually confine treats to splitting desserts in restaurants or having a biscotti with my afternoon coffee. I can handle those kinds of treats in moderation.

I never realized I was addicted to sugar until I kicked it - I never thought I would prefer a ripe mango to a brownie. Eating healthy changed my taste buds completely, I adore healthy foods. I love natural peanut butter on whole wheat toast, I love baked sweet potatoes, I love roasted vegetables, I love salmon, I love fresh berries. I would definitely take a package of meltingly ripe blackberries over an apple danish now and it is amazing to me. My tastebuds have completely changed.

My tattoo

I got a tattoo to celebrate my weight loss last June. I never considered myself "hip" or "cool" enough for a tattoo (I was in the CHESS club in high school for god's sake) and there was never anything that meant so much to me I would want to tattoo it forever on my skin.

Losing 68 lbs and feeling fabulous was definitely something I wanted to celebrate forever, to remind myself how hard I worked and something to remind myself every day that losing weight is much easier than keeping weight off.

I also thought about a pheonix or a butterfly or a bluebird of happiness. I started looking into Japanese characters, I wanted something that said "transformation" but when I started talking to Japanese speakers, it wasn't that simple.

A Chinese friend turned me onto Chinese proverbs. I found a bunch I loved and I picked my favorite saying that also had the most beautiful characters. My tattoo is 4 traditional Chinese characters of an old Chinese proverb "Dripping water eats through stone." Just to remind me of the hundreds of tiny changes I made and do on a daily basis to accomplish something enormous. Even a tiny drop of water can wear away a rock.

You can see my tattoo here (it looks huge, but it was taken in extreme close-up, it's barely 3 inches long, right down the middle of my back, the top is about an inch below a normal shirt collar):

http://gloriana.myphotoalbum.com/vie...too_fin ished

Here are some of the other choices I considered:

http://gloriana.myphotoalbum.com/vie...album03&page=1

The great proverb site I used:

http://www.oneaday.org/archives.html

It updates daily, this proverb was added after I got mine. I love this and would probably have chosen this one if I had seen it (not that I don't love mine! this one just says it perfectly)

http://www.oneaday.org/2005/08/heave...e_changed.html

I definitely wanted a permanent reminder of how important this weight loss journey is, the changes I made are permanent. It basically means - don't mess this up.
__________________
SIX YEARS at maintenance weight!

My very long weight loss story

"I saw an angel in the marble and I chiseled until I set it free."
Michelangelo

Last edited by Glory87 : 05-17-2006 at 06:40 PM.
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Old 05-17-2006, 02:45 PM   #4
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Thanks for sharing your story. It was very inspiring. Loved seeing the pic's too. You look great. My weight loss has slowed dramatically now that I am closer to goal and reading what happened to you made me know that it's nothing I'm doing wrong. Thanks so much.
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Old 05-17-2006, 05:59 PM   #5
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Thanks for posting, Glory! Wonderful, insightful posts

(now go use that gym membership! muscle is your friend )

Mel
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Old 05-17-2006, 07:20 PM   #6
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Thanks for posting your very inspirational story!
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Old 05-17-2006, 07:51 PM   #7
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WOW! What a beautiful well thought out post! This is one not to miss!
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Old 05-17-2006, 11:15 PM   #8
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Thank you for posting your story! Congrats to you for making a new lifestyle (a very healthy one) for yourself!! I'm going to check out the book you were talking about.
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Old 05-18-2006, 12:35 AM   #9
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Thank you for the thorough and well-written post!
I love the tattoo!
Congratulations on your success.
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Old 05-18-2006, 11:56 AM   #10
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Excellent. I just ordered the book from Amazon. I also have the book The French Diet : Why French Women Don't Get Fat. It sounds pretty similar, and follows a low glycemic way of eating. I am interested in the Superfoods book too. And it doesn't cost much.

You and I sound a lot alike. I love fruits, veggies and fish, so if I can incorporate those into a way of life, I'm all for it and will stick to it. Low carb worked for a while for me, but I lost my desire to consume a lot of meat. So, sticking to the low carb diet was torture for me. I felt physically sick after eating so much meat.

I also plan on getting a tattoo when I reach my goal weight!

Thank you for sharing such an intense, honest and inspirational story. I'm going to have my husband read it when he gets home.

Also, I had him eating 'whole' foods and cutting out all of the junk foods. He didn't exercise at all, but managed to lose 36 pounds in a few months. So, I appreciate the power of eating good, healthy foods and cutting out bad foods!
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Old 05-19-2006, 03:21 AM   #11
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Thank you so much for taking the time to write your journey down for us. I appreciate it more than I can say. Your accounts have given me heaps of things to think about and consider to I too can say that I am maintaining and succeeded my weight and food battle.

Thank you again and congratulations!
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Old 05-19-2006, 09:34 AM   #12
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What a fantastic post! This is the way my eating has evolved, too. I read Superfoods last year and found that we eat most of those foods regularly anyway; since then it has been a slow process of weeding out all processed foods (we make our own broths, tomato sauces; I prefer cooked cereals even to the healthiest organic commercial breakfast cereals). Good protein at regular intervals all day is vital. Now if I eat a little candy I feel rotten. We never really ate at fast food joints (a few times a year, usually while in airports), now even looking at those places makes me feel a little ill (really, it does! I never felt worse than the time I ate an egg mcmuffin, I just felt terrible within minutes). Healthy whole foods are such a gift. it does require a bit of planning, but if you eat this way cravings simply disappear. Once the body gets used to good food it's not so keen on things full of chemicals.

Thanks so much for this long and incredibly useful post. It should be required reading for all who are starting this journey!

cheers,
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Old 05-19-2006, 12:53 PM   #13
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Awesome, fantastic post - I don't even have the words to describe it. This is one for everyone wanting to lose weight to read over and over again.

Have you ever thought about contacting the author of the book and telling him how profoundly it changed your life?
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Old 05-19-2006, 01:51 PM   #14
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Congrats, what a great post. I love your tattoo I'm still in the planning stages for mine.
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Old 05-20-2006, 12:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glory87
When I decided to change my life, I carefully looked at my previous weight loss attempts to see why I kept failing. I noticed that I could lose weight but I could not keep weight off. This time, I concentrated on long term maintenance from from day 1. I had to give up that crazy idea I had been clinging to since high school - if you cut calories and lose weight, you can cut MORE calories and lose MORE weight. That fallacy is what made me go from a 140 lb high school student to a 200 lb 35 year old. Dieting made me fat.
Thanks for your inspirational posts and I too will look carefully and try to plan out my journey. Yes I think your right about the dieting made me fat. I've been dieting since I was 18 yrs old and I'm 54 now at 315 lbs. Well I better get buzy and look over my past, present and future to set this plan in motion.

Best Regards, Elaine
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