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Old 02-04-2004, 07:42 AM   #1
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Smile How Did You Lose The Weight?

When I read through all the old pre-crash Introductions, I remember being struck by all the different ways that people lost (or are losing) their weight. There wasnít any one plan or diet that jumped out as being wildly successful. As a matter of fact, my recollection is that most of us used a ďdietĒ or ďplanĒ that we customized for ourselves.

So my question is: how did you lose the weight? Did you follow your own eating plan or one of the popular diets or programs (WW, Atkins, SBD etc.)? If you made up your own plan, can you tell us what worked for you? Do you do anything differently today ó if youíre maintaining ó than you did to lose the weight?
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Old 02-04-2004, 08:11 AM   #2
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I lost all my weight doing SugarBusters, but very strictly and without the higher fat choices. It ended up looking a lot like the "clean eating" we do as weight lifters, but not as much protein or as frequent meals. I also did a lot of cardio and moderate lifting, too much in fact. I'm sure some of the weight I lost was muscle, but since the scale was moving quickly downwards, I really didn't care.

I had been maintaining for about 2 months when I decided I wanted more muscle and less pudge, even at what I thought was my goal weight. I switched to Body for Life, and ended up gaining 2 scale pounds but losing 8% body fat during my first challenge. That was about 2 1/2 years ago. Since then, I've been on various customized plans, and am gradually putting some of the weight back on. While I know a lot of it is muscle, I'm not real happy about the overall effect. I'm up about 4 pounds from my initial goal weight, but would like to be down about 10. Sloppy eating is what's stopping the weight loss, workouts are still going great.

Except for the fact that I know I'd be STARVING all the time back on Sugarbusters, I'd try that again. I think now if I could just eat cleanly and get enough sleep and a little less stress in my life, I'd see some positive results. That's a really big IF for now, tho

Falling down is not failure....Failure is staying down.
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It's about learning to dance in the rain.

9 years at or under goal weight! Working Maintenance Everyday
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Old 02-04-2004, 10:53 AM   #3
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mine was actually in stages.. the first stage, 97 pounds, was before the surgery, when they corrected my sleep apnea. 97 pounds in 3 months.

the second stage was the gastric bypass. about another 180+ from that. 80-100 grams of protein, vitamins, some veggies, small amounts of fruit, occasional whole grain carbs [ok ok ok... i'll admit i'm getting into the pretzels!!!!].

and lots of exercise.

and now, it's the 'normal living' stage. at least, that's what i thiink it is. the balancing act that everyone else has to follow.

oh. the next stage will be the plastic surgery.. roughly 30 pounds of skin will come off.

believe me, i don't recommend this way for everyone. but this saved my life.
Start your day with a smile, and get it over with.
Keeping it off is a hundred decisions a day that help you maintain what you achieved. And that's the hard part. - L Sanders

start: 506 [Sept 2001]
weight at gastric bypass [Jan 29, 2002]: 409
current weight: 225
weight for plastic surgery: 200
final goal: 180

Posts by members, moderators and admins are not medical advice. See your physician before taking advice found on the internet.
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Old 02-04-2004, 10:56 AM   #4
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To jump-start a plateau after losing 20# on my own, I tried Phase 1 of SBD but allowed myself 1 pc of rye bread and 1 FF/SF yogurt each day. It worked so well that I continued with it until I started weight lifting. I still bascially eat low-fat protein and low-gly carbs, but up my protein with whey protein, less red meat and more poultry and fish.

Even when loss has subsided, I feel great and full of energy because I've eliminated bad carbs. Most important is that I can eat like this for the rest of my life, knowing I can have something from time to time that I shouldn't. I just go back to eating clean and all is good. Also, can't say enough about the water. Gotta do the water.

5'5.5" ~248# Mar1 03/cw: 192#


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Old 02-04-2004, 04:25 PM   #5
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Well, mine is on my website but here ya go... the Reader's Digest Condensed Soup Version

(not counting the yo-yo times between the ages of 7 and 27 of course...)

1990 - weighed 265 pounds - participated in an 18-month "weight loss maintenance" study through Stanford University - which included 12 weeks on Optifast (800 calories/day). At the end of the 12 week fast, I was down to 206.5 pounds and at the end of the study I was around 180 or so. (BTW, please do not consider my good experience on Optifast as a wholehearted recommendation for the program, as I was one of the 3-5% of around 1,000 study participants who actually kept their weight off by the end of the study). Like our Happy Jack I consider EXERCISE a key reason for why I was able to maintain my weight loss and lose more weight over time. Many of the other gals in my particular group during the Stanford study expressed a STRONG distaste for doing ANY exercise, much less the recommended minimum which was 30 minutes of walking 4 days a week - if my group was indicative of the majority of study participants, then no wonder they didn't keep what weight they lost off!

I had already started walking prior to starting my participation in the study; however I added a low-impact aerobics class twice a week through the local Park & Rec along with working out to a video geared towards larger women (I still remember the title: "Idrea says: Yes you Can!"). My baby sis took me to a Jazzercise class when I was around 190 pounds or so and I quickly became hooked, and was heavily involved in Jazzercise from 1991-1994, when time constraints and tight finances led me to join 24 Hour Fitness. I started out doing cardio mostly, sometimes I'd do weights but with no clue really on sets, reps, etc. The "weights thing" didn't start for me until April 2001 when I read about the BFL book here at 3FC

As far as eating...around 1992 I decided to go the vegetarian route and was either a lacto-ovo veg or a strict vegan until late 2000. I did a number of plans to lose the rest of my weight - Fit or Fat?, Jazzercise's Know More Diet (partially based on Fit or Fat - and the first time I was exposed to calipers and BF%), Make the Connection, a couple more stints on Weight Watchers (ugh - just hated those meetings!), Dr. John McDougall's Maximum Weight Loss Diet w/hypnosis (the most restrictive diet I've EVER been on with the exception of Optifast). But I gotta say that the 'triumpherate' of 3 things - nutrition, weights, and cardio - is what has worked the best for me
Mrs. Jim
Highest weight: 265 pounds, size 24/26 (May 1990)
May 1991: 174 pounds (-91 lbs)
September 1996: 155 pounds (-110 lbs)
*LIVING at: 145-149 pounds, size 4/6 (-116/120 lbs)

*Maintenance = LIVING.
Posts by members, moderators and admins are not considered medical advice and no guarantee is made against accuracy. Please see your physician before taking advice found on the internet.

Wanna know how I lost the weight and have kept it off for over 16 years? Click here!
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Old 02-04-2004, 06:09 PM   #6
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The first thirty pounds came off over two years, very gradually, almost without my noticing it-- exactly the way it went on, lol! I just started exercising more, not perfectly by any means, and eating better, not perfectly. I was massively busy and stressed during this period, eating in the car, irregular meals, etc. But the exercise was my sanctuary, as the water aerobics and walking were the one place in my life where the cell phone could not reach me! I really began to enjoy the exercise a lot. I believe strongly that if the exercise is not pleasurable, you won't stick with it over the long run. And gradually, over the course of two years, my eating habits got better and better-- never perfect, just better.

As of Jan. 1, I started keeping a journal, recording everything I eat and aiming for a 1300 - 1500 calorie per day level, with 1/2 to 1 hour of exercise about 6 days per week. The purpose of this is to teach me correct portion sizes. I've come to understand that I really had no idea how much food I was really eating-- I just wasn't paying any attention to that at all. Just utterly preoccupied with other stuff. The journal has been invaluable, I've learned a lot about what my body wants and needs to be healthy: i.e., it won't stand for starvation, but it likes lots of exercise as long as I feed it well.

The exercise I'm now doing is water aerobics twice a week, a 3 - 4 mile walk with hills about twice a week, and the rowing machine for 1/2 - 1 hour about twice a week. I'm not too rigid about the plan at all-- if I don't feel like rowng, I walk instead. And the calories are flexible too. If I eat 1800 in a day, I don't worry about it. One thing I noticed right away: if I drop my calories lower than about 1200 per day, all weight loss stops, my body slows down, and I can't do anything. There's a clue, lol.

In terms of eating, I only have a couple of rules: lower fat, lower sugar, balanced diet with more fruits and veggies. I eat bread, rice, pasta, etc. I found out right away that I need the carbos to fuel the exercise. If I don't eat a steady reasonable level of carbos, I get hypoglycemic. So it turns out that I usually eat 4 -6 small snacks/meals per day.

I make sure I include a treat once in a while so I don't feel like I'm living a Spartan existence. For example, once a month we go to the local blues society for music and dancing, and I'll have a couple of beers and some nachos. I record the food, then go back to the usual routine tomorrow. No big deal, no angst, no perfectionism, no guilt.

I try to vary the diet a lot from day to day, to get in as many different nutrients as possible, and I take a multi-vitamin mineral tablet. I also drink three 1 liter units of Calistoga water daily without fail, sometimes more.

That's about it. I've done a lot of research and thinking over the past couple of years, and the books I found most helpful are the Covert Bailey "Fit or Fat" series, "Thin for Life" by Anne Fletcher, and "1001 Simple Ways to Lose Weight" by Gary L. Rempe. I read a lot of the other diet books, Ornish, Carbo Addict, Sugarbusters, etc. but decided to go my own way. The disadvantage of this approach is, I often felt I just didn't know what I was doing, didn't have the skills. The advantage is, you learn the skills over time by trial and error. Losing weight is a skill that takes practice, like learning to play the flute, or knitting.

And I'm very very lucky to have a husband who loves me no matter what weight I am, but who says he admires me for all the work I've done. I'm lucky that he decided to jump on the bandwagon with me, and he's lost about 20 lbs. so far too.

I stay motivated by trying new things all the time, to keep it interesting. New foods, new cooking ideas, "luxury" fruits, etc. I buy new earrings or something like that as a reward. I'm also planning to try new activities now that I'm stronger: this spring I may try Latin dance lessons, and really learning to swim. Then again I've always had a fantasy about taking ballet.... anything's possible now.
Age 48, 5'6" Living with PCOS.
Start: January 1, 2002, 220 lbs., size 24
Current: 163 lbs, size 10 - 12, 39"-31.5"-39.75"
Goal: size 10 in Levi's 515 jeans.
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Old 02-05-2004, 04:32 AM   #7
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What finally worked for me (after spending most of my life dieting with no lasting success) was just what Karen said: the combination of weightlifting, cardio, and nutrition. When I joined a gym and realized that I had no idea what I was doing, I put myself in the hands of a trainer there and gave him five weeks. I told myself that I would do exactly what he said for five weeks ó no arguments, no deviations, no cheats ó since I reasoned that I could survive anything for five weeks. If I didn't like it or it didnít work, I was out of there.

He started me off on 1600 calories a day of what bodybuilders call ďcleanĒ food: lean protein, complex, unprocessed carbs, and some good fats. About 45% protein, 25% carbs, 30% fat (Iíve tracked everything in Fitday from Day One). I printed off my Fitday menus every day and he checked them over (boy, that kept me from cheating!). He started me on an elliptical for 20 minutes a day for cardio. And he got me working out with weights, which I discovered ó much to my amazement ó that I loved.

Saying that it worked was an understatement. Probably because I was so un-used to exercise, my body went into some kind of shock and started losing fat and building muscle very quickly. Needless to say, my partnership with my trainer didn't end when five weeks were up! We stuck together and he continued to tweak the program until I lost 122 pounds in a little less than a year (132 pounds of fat lost and 10 pounds of muscle gained).

What I do today to maintain my weight is pretty much the same as what I did to lose it. Itís really a lifestyle now and I canít imagine going back to where I was. Going to the gym isnít hard for me since I went from despising exercise to loving it. But eating is and always will be the struggle.
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Old 02-05-2004, 05:58 AM   #8
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Oops! I failed to state anything about the exercise, but I thought that was a given. I should clarify that I did cardio and resistence machines before adding weight-lifting. I go to the gym every once in awhile for something different and do resistence machines, but program is cardio that has to be tweaked now and then, and weight-lifting. Currently learning pilates to stretch and relax. Exercise has become a habit "just like brushing my teeth."

5'5.5" ~248# Mar1 03/cw: 192#


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Old 02-08-2004, 01:55 PM   #9
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Hey all,

I did WW and now follow Ali's modified WW which is basically more points, a mix of cardio and weights (I gained a few so I am in losing mode right now, but I exercise a lot and due to a very strong tendancy for hypoglycemia <which resulted in being rushed to the ER a month ago> I eat 6 times a day now, which has given me ubber energy). In general I eat a ton of fruits and veggies, lean meats, soy products, yogurt, a little bit of 100% WW bread type products (bread, tortillas etc), kashi, Lf cheese and nuts.

In general though I am happy that I weigh 100lbs less than I did 6 years ago, just want to lose the size I gained (I have so many excuses for it too, rather than just saying I was being careless, I can make an excuse appear like that <j/k>).


To get healthy mind, body and soul!
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Old 02-09-2004, 06:36 PM   #10
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I generally followed my own plan. I wanted something that I would be comfortable with for the rest of my life because I knew I wouldn't stick with it otherwise. I watched (and still do) my portion sizes, carbs, and fat. I try to keep it balanced like making sure to have protein with my carbs. I drink LOTS of water and I also exercise every day. I walk on my treadmill and also do some ab work and lift light weights. I also journal every bite I take and still weigh in daily.

It took me a little over a year to get to my goal and I'm so glad I finally did something about it. Now the trick is to maintain this new body because I don't plan on ever going back!

New goal: staying binge free and losing those last few again, but for the last time!!
"Never trade what you want at the moment for what you want the most." -unknown
"Your power is in your ability to decide." -fortune cookie
"Hope; after a storm birds always sing." -unknown
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Old 02-10-2004, 10:17 AM   #11
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After years of yo-yo'ing, something finally clicked last year and I started losing. I counted calories (1500 a day) & starting exercising (4-6 times a wk, cardio, weights, & whatever catches my fancy).

Meg, your success is phenomenal. If I could afford a trainer, I'd definitely go that route. You must have really firmed up to wear a size 4 at 135 lbs. In hopes that I might be able to emulate your success, I have a few questions. How tall are you? How many calories a day do you need to maintain? Finally, exactly what kind of workouts do you do?

SW=173 (I lost weight before that, but I never weighed myself)
CW=147/size 8
GW=130-135/size 6
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Old 02-10-2004, 10:47 AM   #12
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Hi Vmelo! Congratulations on your weight loss and we're glad that you found us here!

To answer your questions: Iím a shortie ó 5í4Ē. About my size: itís all about muscle! I quickly learned that the key to successful weight loss is building muscle while losing fat. Since a pound of muscle takes up about 1/3 the space of a pound of fat, the more muscle you carry, the tighter and more compact youíll look. MrsJim (Karen) and Mel also are about my height and weight and wear size 4; itís fairly common for women who lift weights to weigh more than youíd think.

Itís kind of hard to let go as the scale as the ultimate measurement of success, but body fat percent can be a better indication of how youíre doing. Have you ever had yours checked?

Calories ó Iím still trying to lose a few pounds of fat, so I canít really speak to maintenance calories. Right now, Iím eating about 1400-1500/day, about 45% protein, 25% carbs, 30% fat, though that can vary day to day. I canít say that the scale's moving, but Iím getting stronger, so may be building muscle. The funny thing that Iím finding about reshaping my body with muscle is that itís still changing all the time, even 21 months after I hit my goal weight. I definitely look better than I did at this same weight in 2002. Anyway, I probably could eat 1500-1800 calories and maintain, but Iím not sure.

Workouts ó I do cardio about every day, fairly intensely. I personally need to in order to keep the fat off. I lift weights 4-5 days/week, generally doing one body part a day (putting biís and triís together): arms, shoulders, legs, chest and back. Iím not at all the strongest woman in the gym but I try to lift as heavy as I can. In my experience, I only get smaller, not bigger as I build muscle. Iíll do 4-6 exercises per body part, 3-4 sets per exercise, staying in the 10-15 rep range. I try to mix it up each time and not repeat workouts.

If you ó or anyone else ó is interested in weightlifting, come join us in the Ladies Who Lift forum. We have a weekly thread that you can jump into and ďIlene luvs newbies!Ē
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Old 02-10-2004, 11:08 AM   #13
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S/C/G: 165/149/140

Height: 5'3"


MEG!!! toooooo funny!!
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Old 02-10-2004, 02:04 PM   #14
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Thanks for the info, Meg. You should be really proud of your success. I, too, am a shortie; I'm 5 ft. 3. When I was in my 20's, I got down to 120 or so and I remember finding some formula that indicated that I could eat 1800 calories to maintain my weight. I tried that and it worked (at least until I started pigging out on a daily basis and ballooned up to past my original weight!). However, that was in my 20's. Now that I'm 35, I'm not sure how many calories it would take. I do know that the formula I used to calculate my losing calories (I got it from DIETING FOR DUMMIES) indicates that I can eat about 1800 calories a day to maintain at 135. I'd love that because I'd hate to think I could only eat 1500 a day. We'll see!

Your weight lifting routine sounds rigorous. I'd really like to start concentrating on weight lifting more. I kind of do it haphazardly and I don't seem to make much progress. I will visit the weight lifting forum. I have a couple of questions to ask of the experts there.
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Old 02-12-2004, 04:37 AM   #15
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S/C/G: 169/143/145

Height: 5' 5"


Under the very good guidance of aphil, over at the "doin' it the old fashioned way" thread, I tried to stick to 1500-1600 calories a day; breakfast, lunch and dinner, and two snacks. I started exercising at least 5X a week; 6 was even better. I did a mix of cardio and light hand-held weights. I tried to drink the 64 ounces of water a day, which is still a challenge for me.

I tried very hard to intelligently ( ) spread the calories out throughout the day, instead of "hoarding" them. And of course to try to have unprocessed foods, instead of empty calories (such as reduced fat cookies ).

Like another posted above, I wanted to do something that I could keep up with the rest of my life. Eating real foods, but smaller portions, and exercising are things I CAN do for the rest of my life; crazy fad diets aren't.
Holly - but my road name is Cupcake

My program - Watching portions and trying to avoid empty carbs; at-home workouts
My motorcycle - '04 Honda VTX 1300C. Candy Apple Red!
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