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Old 01-20-2009, 12:27 AM   #166
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Tell us about yourself! I name is Jason. I lost 130 lbs on WW. I have kept it off now for over a year. Looking for weight loss and maintenance talk. Love to encourage others.

Is this the first time or one of many times that you've tried to lose weight? I tried everything before and WW coupled with running took the weight off and has kept it off thus far.

Are you where you want to be? Right now I would like to lose 7 lbs max. I would like to be in the 170's but my life time hope is to stay under 185 and I am there so that is a good thing.

How has life changed for you since you've lost the weight? Well, I can breath. HAHA. Everything is easy from running, sleeping, sex, driving, working, etc. I love it.

If you're maintaining, what's that like for you? It is good but a struggle still. I find myself wanting to just say screw it and binge. I keep it in check most of the time but that is why I am here. I want to be able to talk about the issues.

Do you exercise regularly? I do. I get around 50-80 AP's a week and my goal is at least 5-7 hours of activity. I am current planning on running my 5th ultra marathon, the Strolling Jim 40 miler in May.

Now that you're near or at your goal, what are your concerns? Gaining it back and losing control over my eating. It freaks the heck out of me.
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Old 01-25-2009, 12:51 PM   #167
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Tell us about yourself!

I joined 3fatchicks in January of 2007 . Over a period of 8 months I lost 80 pounds. I walked with WATP until I was fit enough to work out with Jillian's Girls.It was fantastic. I changed my eating habits and my son began to also understand how eating could change his ability to perform as an athlete at school.

Is this the first time or one of many times that you've tried to lose weight?
This was the first time I seriously did something about it. Between the babies I managed to lose weight, but I would gain it back again.

Are you where you want to be?
Well no, I am four pounds over the weight I had when I stopped posting at 3FC.I never made the 142 pound goal I set for myself mainly because I was so happy at the spot I was in.Right now eating is still healthy with a burp here and there. Exercise is 5 days a week because it's apart of my job.

How has life changed for you since you've lost the weight?
I think that is a huge part of my story. I am now a single Mom, working on getting a divorce and dating. I live in the city and gave my beloved horse away. I work full time as a catering assistant around food after being a SAHM for five years.I can climb an 8 ft fence and the last trek on the bike was for 25 miles.

If you're maintaining, what's that like for you?
Maintaining is easier than dieting as I don't measure calories. I look at fat and protein no longer use fitday although I have visited there to remind myself of the way life was when I started. I do have one day a week that I make a turkey burger or fix myself eggs and cheese on the grill.


Do you exercise regularly?

Part of job involves walking a facility that employees 3600 people.I no longer lift weights, but cases of soda and water. I sit down at lunch and for a small morning break. Before I moved to the city and was hired for my job I ran the stairs at the small high school stadium. Regular jogging gave my knee fits- but I knew I had to so something to keep at it.I still do some pilates and yoga on weekends when my kids are with their Dad.

Now that you're near or at your goal, what are your concerns?
I know that my muscle mass has changed from when I was lifting and being true to plan. I don't think it is an issue of weight loss, but I just need to eat cleaner and focus on getting more exercise on the weekends.
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Old 01-26-2009, 02:45 PM   #168
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Hi Jason and Sirak, welcome to the maintainers forum! We're so glad that you're here. Congratulations to both of you on your successes so far, and successes to come as well. Please dive in to our weekly chats about the trials and tribulations, as well as all of the rewards and day-to-day shtick that goes along with weight loss and maintenance.

Jason, I hope you won't be intimidated by the fact that the maintainers forum is mostly women, though we do have a few men who pop in from time to time. Please, jump right in! A lot of us on the board sometimes experience the "just wanna binge" feeling that you mentioned, and I find it's a great help to me to have 3fc to come to when I get that feeling.

Sirak, it sounds like you've been making a lot of changes in your life lately! It sounds like you've got a wonderful job that lets you be active, too.
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Old 01-26-2009, 04:06 PM   #169
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Tell us about yourself!


Here the California poet Kim Noriega looks deeply into a photograph from forty years ago.

Heaven, 1963

It's my favorite photo--
captioned, "Daddy and His Sweetheart."
It's in black and white,
it's before Pabst Blue Ribbon,
before his tongue became a knife
that made my mother bleed,
and before he blackened my eye
the time he thought I meant to end my life.

He's standing in our yard on Porter Road
beneath the old chestnut tree.
He's wearing sunglasses,
a light cotton shirt,
and a dreamy expression.

He's twenty-seven.
I'm two.
My hair, still baby curls,
is being tossed by a gentle breeze.
I'm fast asleep in his arms.


I share this poem because it happened to me too. I am over fifty and have been on a healing journey my whole life. Not all trauma survivors become obese but I did. Most of my adult life was spent on the yo-yo train so at times I was overweight and others at around 160 pounds. I became morbidly obese after a triggering event. I was attacked with a knife and that was when food became my only medication and friend. Trigger because when one has PTSD everything seems to go out of control. So I was out of control until I reached my highest weight in 2002. January 2003 made a resolution to become healthy when I got sleep apnea, heart palpitations and was diagnosed prediabetic. I did South Beach and walking 10k daily in 2003 and lost 85 pounds. Regained 33 pounds the next year and hovered around 170 until I joined this forum this year. I decided enough's enough!

Tried SB again and had an initial loss but when I moved onto Phase 2 the added carbs triggered binges.

Reread Atkins book and began to follow that WOE. From the end of July to December it was a steady loss curve down until goal was reached.

Is this the first time or one of many times that you've tried to lose weight?
I have tried may times to lose weight.

Are you where you want to be?
Most definitely! This weekend my friend and I are going to to Whistler where we discovered a recycled clothing store (mostly brand name) and do some heavy duty shopping. Then we will go snowshoeing later.

How has life changed for you since you've lost the weight?
It has been wonderful. I no longer have sleep apnea etc. and I stick to my WOE so no cravings. Did I mention newer clothes? Imagine going from wearing size 38 waist men's jeans to women's jeans size 4.

If you're maintaining, what's that like for you?
I still consider myself a brand new maintainer and so far it is going well. So well that even though I am eating more I have lost three more pounds.
I survived my birthday, Christmas and New Years day parties. Gained a pound or two but adjusted my eating and lost it.

Do you exercise regularly?
Yes daily. I walk 10k and did 30 Day Shred which I am going to do it again. Also doing 100 day push ups program.


Now that you're at your goal, what are your concerns?
I am an emotional eater so I use mindfulness meditation to keep in touch with what is real for me. Observing my thoughts which trigger feelings= binges has been a saving grace.

I also read the forums daily. Especially the maintainers threads where I have read a ton of good information.

And anything else that you might want to share with us!
My cat Felix. He is in his tux.

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Old 03-30-2009, 10:59 PM   #170
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My name is Jessica, I am 27.

I grew up obese. My family was all obese. I ate a lot; we all did. I also stole and hid food--not sure why. I did that up til my freshman year of college--can we say I was the WORST roommate ever?? At least once I went to a warehouse-type store and bought a retail box of candy--the kind you buy if you own a convenience store--and ate it within a few days. I always swore I'd never binge and purge--at least, never purge. I was sure that throwing up my food wouldn't help me learn the over-eating lesson, and would plunge me down the narrow rabbit hole of bulimia. So I'd eat until it hurt, especially when with other people. I couldn't stop til it was too late. I blamed my mom for teaching me bad habits, for emotionally abusing and neglecting me, etc. It wasn't until a kind friend reached out to me that I started thinking maybe I could try losing weight--and it wasn't until I realized that my mom may have made me a fat kid, but I'D made me a fat adult, that I could really own my weight, whatever it was--and change myself.

* Is this the first time or one of many times that you've tried to lose weight?

I struck gold on the second attempt. The first was just very ill-informed, so I was kinda sunk from the start.

* Are you where you want to be?

Yes and no. I feel like I could lose my five more pounds and be numbers-happy for the rest of my life, but I am flabby and have loose areas that I really want to tone. I feel like that is attainable for me for the first time. If the scale never budged again, I guess that's be fine. But I DO need to lower my body fat, so that's my next big thing.

* How has life changed for you since you've lost the weight?

Hmm, let's see, I got my first kiss! And a lot of other firsts. I am engaged. I have a lot more confidence and ownership of my life now. I care about myself, I like who I see in the mirror. I can ride amusement park rides, and horses. I can sit on play equipment with my friends' children and not worry about breaking it. I ride a motorcycle now...something I would NEVER have done, in a million years, before I lost weight. At least in part because I was so certain I would suck at it. I wear regular clothes, pretty dresses, cute underwear--no more Just My Size, etc. I have a way smaller chest now, but I also don't have a "Shelf" under my bra band. Little things like that make me feel like I fit myself now, when I never did before. People who meet me now and find out I used to be fat won't believe it. People don't see fat first, me second. That's huge. I eat more frequently. I eat SOY! Tofu! Veggies! (sometimes). My favorite foods are the same, and I still eat them, I just realize that there are a lot of ways to prepare things like pizza without loading up on bad stuff. I make a lot of foods at home. I eat a lot less red meat. I can walk places and not get winded--ditto for stairs. I can run when I want! Sometimes I run across the room when it isn't necessary just to do it. I am not afraid of being looked at anymore.

* If you're maintaining, what's that like for you?
It's a lot of habitual behavior, being easy and hard on myself at the same time. It means watching my portions without even thinking twice. It means eating sweets if I want, but integrating it into a whole eating plan and being mindful that if I eat too much of one thing, I am going to miss out on a lot of other really tasty and satisfying food--but I have the strength to hold myself to that consequence. It means realizing that my diet is fluid. It changes. It means listening to my body. It means working out often enough, and with purpose. It means eating, and really loving food--more now than I ever have. I can ALWAYS CLEAN MY PLATE if I serve myself sensibly to begin with.

* Do you exercise regularly?

I have been. Currently I am between gyms and it is hard. I do yoga and pilates at home when i can't go to the gym. But for the last month it has been tough.

* Now that you're near or at your goal, what are your concerns?

The honest truth? I am terrified to get pregnant. Terrified. I cannot even imagine what it would be like to get fat again. I want to be a mom someday, but I am really afraid. I don't want to be like my mom, who got fatter with every child, until she couldn't do anything fun with us. Not wanting to be like her is one of the things that kickstarted me into losing weight to begin with.


It's cool to be here. For a long time I wanted no one to know I'd been fat, because I just so desperately wanted to be normal. But I can feel proud of who I am, who I was--not just a sad, fat girl, but a fat girl strong enough to change her life a pound at a time.

That's me! I have a dog and a man I love who supports me in my goals and is committed to helping when I need it--we eat together, work out together, etc. He's an athlete/body builder of sorts, so he is helping me get some muscle!! I Will Never, Ever weigh what I once did. I will never again be obese. That is my commitment, and its been...4 years since I lost my first 50! (now 75 and counting.)
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Old 03-31-2009, 05:54 AM   #171
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Hi Jessica and ! Thanks for sharing your story and wow, congrats on maintaining for so many years! You were so, so smart to get it together while you're still young and have so many years ahead to enjoy your new body and life.

We hope to see lots more of you!
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Old 04-01-2009, 03:40 PM   #172
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Welcome!
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"Nothing is impossible. The word itself says I'm possible." --Audrey Hepburn
My Long Goal Story Post|My Daily Plate Journal

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Old 04-01-2009, 06:44 PM   #173
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Thanks for the welcome! I'm happy to be here!
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Old 04-01-2009, 06:54 PM   #174
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Hi Jessica! What a great story! (and kind of like mine!)

I can relate to the fear of getting pregnant. It seems so weird and vain to fear the unkown in regards to pregnancy. I've been doing this new lifestyle for 5 years, over which time I got married. For a loooong time I was worried about how pregnancy would figure into maitenance, but the longer you maintain and "get the hang of it", the more secure you may become

Welcome to 3FC!
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2011- putting on the baby weight
2012- TAKING OFF THE BABY WEIGHT
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Old 04-03-2009, 06:44 PM   #175
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First, I want to say that I truly and deeply admire everyone who has lost and kept it off! There are SO many great role models here. You all just totally ROCK and, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you all for sharing your struggles and triumphs and all the stuff in-between.

Someday maybe I’ll post my whole long story in the Success Stories Goal Section (with all the tragedy and drama and stuff) but for now I figured I’d just answer the introduction questions:

Is this the first time or one of many times that you've tried to lose weight?
This is “One of many”. I did a lot of unhealthy "diets" (translation=starvation) in my youth, but I won't go there for now. I remember joining one of the places where you buy the food from them when I was in my mid or late 20s, but I only had maybe 15-20 lbs to lose at that time. Many memories are fuzzy back in those days.

I first started moving into the seriously overweight category in my early/mid-thirties. In... 1999 or 2000? I joined WW and lost from 150-ish down to 120. Six months later I was back up to 150, then got pg with twin girls. They were born in 2001, and I lost for a while - back down to around 150 again, then started gaining (3 teenagers, two babies, full-time job, a LOT of personal stress, an anxiety disorder that was out of control, mild depression, tough days... ). In Jan 2003 I hit a new high of 170, then I joined an online subscription diet service. I lost 50 lbs in 8 months – hit my goal of 120 in Aug 2003, then had a pretty major disaster/tragedy a few weeks later - if I thought I was stressed out before, I hadn't seen nothin yet! I started stress/comfort eating again, and by the end of 2004 I weighed 178. I have some really sad pics -- me at goal in Aug 2003 holding out my "too big" pants, then at 178 in Oct 2004 wearing the same pants & shirt which were way too tight. Actually in the avatar those are the same pants - I still have them.

When I was finally ready to try again in early 2005, I decided to take it very slowly, baby steps – so I’d lose maybe 20 lbs, maintain for a bit, start gaining, put on maybe 10 or so, get serious, lose another 15-20 or so, etc. I got down to 145 in, I think it was late 2006? Then at the end of 2007, by the time the holidays were over, I was back up to 164, so knew I had to get serious about losing and learning to maintain.

I joined a free diet support forum and set my goal at 135 b/c it was at the top of my healthy range – I figured I’d have the best chance of maintaining a healthy weight that way. I told myself that if I could maintain for 6 months, then I’d try losing a bit more, maintain a while, etc. I reached 134.5 on May 1st, 2008, down to 128 in Nov 2008, back up to 135 after Christmas, and am on my way back down now.

Are you where you want to be?
I feel good about my progress, and about being where I am (as opposed to where I was). At the same time, I still have goals. Eventually I think 120-125 would be a good, healthy range for me, but it depends on fat/lean% and other factors like how my body responds. I’m in no rush. I’m just enjoying the journey of healthy living. My primary goal is not gaining. Don't cross the red line! And sitting w/my toes on it isn't feeling too good either.

How has life changed for you since you've lost the weight?
Which time? lol! Life changes daily, but some of the things on my ‘being healthy gratitude list’ include:
  • I have more energy to play with my 7 yr old twins, and I'll live long enough to play w/my grandkids and great grandkids....
  • My knees and back ache less
  • My skin doesn’t feel tightly stretched and itchy all the time, like a snake preparing to molt
  • My thighs don’t rub together when I walk (they don’t get chapped from my pants, and they don’t make that awful “swish-swish” noise with every step)
  • I can cross my legs “like a lady” when sitting (at higher weights, my thighs are too fat to sit with my legs crossed at the knees – it just doesn’t work)
  • I don’t huff and puff walking up a flight of stairs
  • I’m more confident. Most of the time I feel pretty, occasionally beautiful (and sometimes even sexy)
  • If I have trouble finding “my size” while shopping, it’s the clothes that are too big instead of me being too big for the clothes
  • There are a billion other things, but most of all I’m just grateful that I’m healthy enough to walk and run and play and laugh and have an amazing life!

If you're maintaining, what's that like for you?
Like losing, only less exciting As you all know, preventing weight gain takes just as much diligence in exercise and portion control as losing does, only without the “big bang” rewards. When losing there’s the rush and excitement of change-something new, the thrill of victory when the scale drops another pound or two or three, the anticipation/excitment of having people notice and say, “wow, you’ve lost weight, how'd you do it”, you get to dig out your “skinny clothes” from the back of the closet and/or shop for cute clothes in smaller sizes… the list goes on. It's hard, but it's also exciting.

Maintaining, by its very definition, is about remaining level – being static, stationary. There are obviously rewards during maintenance, but they aren’t often of the “big bang” variety. They are slower, further between, and most of the time much more subtle. The "wedding" was thrilling, the "honeymoon" full of romance and new experiences, but those are over and now it’s just day to day life. BUt day to day life is beautiful too.

I have to learn to see beyond the immediate and come to know in my soul that good health, like most worthwhile things in life, is not about “reaching a destination” but about growing & learning & enjoying the journey. Instead of always racing ahead full-steam screaming “are we there yet?!”, I have to slow down and see the beauty in the little things all around me. That's what the "gratitude" list does - helps me to remember where I came from, what got me here, and why it's worth the effort to stay here.

Do you exercise regularly?
I know it’s important, and that if I don’t I will gain back all I’ve lost – not just the pounds, but also the misery. But I’m not always 100% on it. I believe motivation is a decision not a feeling, but even so, sometimes there are periods when it’s really tough to motivate myself. Sometimes I find I’m doing the minimum, and fighting to get myself to do that much. Other times it’s easier, feels more natural to work out and eat healthy. When I’m doing it right, I always feel better though!

Most of the long term maintainers I’ve observed get very involved in one or two competitive sports – running, biking, weight lifting, kickboxing – something that involves other people, scheduled events, and some form of competition. It seems to be a major milestone in maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle for the long-term. I see this and think, “I need that”, but as of yet I haven’t found something that makes me excited in that way, so for now I just keep plugging away at various cardio and strength workouts – elliptical, On-Demand exerciseTV videos, hand weights, floor exercises, stretching, etc. I try to get in at least 20-30 of cardio/toning and 10-15 min of stretching/toning 3 to 6 days a week, and while doing it, I try to really picture myself continuing to do this year after year and feel good about getting stronger and healthier. I want to be a good example for my kids, my grandkids, even my great grandkids!

Now that you're near or at your goal, what are your concerns?
The same as everyone always – how do I live in a society where being inactive and overeating are the norm (even encouraged) and live comfortably doing the opposite of that? I know how quickly I can start ignoring the “signs” and start to gain – put on a few lbs, decide not get on the scale “for a few days until I get it back down", more bad choices, ignore, gain, deny, gain, whine, gain… It's a slippery slope and I’m a pro – so I just need to remain diligent and connected to solid support.

Okay, so if this is the short version, maybe I won't post the "long version" Anyhow, I'm grateful today to be healthy, and I know I need support to stay that way. So that's why I sought out a place where there are maintainers actively supporting each other. I need you!!!
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Old 06-19-2009, 03:05 AM   #176
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Hi everyone,

I am brand new to this forum & I’m very fortunate to have found all of you. I’m 37 years old, married, a full-time working mom, & I have a 4-year old daughter. I’ve been maintaining my weight loss of 33 lbs (11 inches lost) for about 8 months now & I’ve been desperately seeking guidance & motivation on weight maintenance with little success prior to this. I’m 5’3.5” & currently at 132 lbs. I am so very excited to have found this forum. I don’t feel like there are enough hours in my day to catch up & read all of your posts & I’ve already learned so much. I look forward to posting a lot more but first I’ll start with my story:

Is this the first time or one of many times that you've tried to lose weight?
Nope. When I attended college I gained the dreaded “freshmen 15 (actually 25)” because of dorm buffets, late night eating due to studying (think – Pizza Hut), indulging in vending machine food such as candy & chips, fast food restaurants, & convenience stores. My normal breakfast was coffee (lots of cream & sugar) & a sugary pastry (i.e. donut w/ chocolate icing was my favorite). This is about the same time I met my future husband, who by the way was an awesome cook, but it didn’t help my waistline since he cooked fatty meals. I remember waking up really tired one day & thinking “I shouldn’t be feeling like this…I’m only in my 20’s!” My weight was 140 lbs. Fortunately in college I had the wisdom to seek out the advice of a nutritionist on campus & she advised I follow the low end of the FDA Food-Pyramid and educate myself to make better food choices. This allowed me to eat whatever I want but to exercise portion control. I also cut down on my sweets & fatty foods. In addition, writing down everything I ate in a steno book, along with my feelings for the day, helped me out tremendously.

I’m not sure exactly what compelled me to start running but it seemed like the perfect sport for a poor college student. So I started running…very slowly. It was especially difficult because where I lived had a lot of hills. I remember my shins hurt so badly after the 1st day but I kept going & I kept going farther & farther. I decided to enter my very 1st 10k race & the thrill of participating in a race with so many people was intoxicating & the fact that I didn’t need to run with anyone else was exciting – I was hooked! There began my “hobby” of entering races for years to come. Through portion control & running I managed to lose 25 lbs to settle at 115 lbs. Although deep down inside I knew it was an unrealistic # I was ecstatic with the results & compliments. Sure enough I didn’t maintain that weight for long. While in college I could walk to my classes, fit running in the morning before my classes, & learned to choose healthier foods at the on-campus food courts & restaurants I frequented. However, life changes: I graduated & started my 1st real job at a bank. Eventually I gained back the weight …albeit slowly.

Suddenly, I was working a full-time job that left little room for running, except in the afternoons – the hardest time for me because I was exhausted at the end of the day. In addition, I was surrounded by unhealthy food (pastries, candies, cake, etc) that customers or my co-workers would bring. Finally, there were new restaurants (Italian) nearby that I wasn’t used to making healthy choices. Although it took a while, slowly but surely over the years I began to gain the weight back & then some. During those years, I still managed to enter races but I would mistakenly say to myself “I run so I can eat” & began making poorer food choices and eating bigger portions. I would still be in denial even as I bought bigger sized clothes & donated my old clothes away. Meanwhile, my husband continued to cook fatty meals (fried chicken cacciatore with lots of pasta & cheese, pork chops with cream sauce, steak, fish baked with mayonnaise & Portuguese sausage, tons of white rice) that we both willingly indulged in.

In addition, our get-togethers with both our family & friends were primarily food centered. We also hosted a lot of bbq’s at our home & food became a means of socialization. We’d all eat to our hearts content & sit around afterwards feeling like beached whales. In addition, our camping parties also consisted of a table laden with unhealthy food choices & minimal veggies if any. Many times I would wake up in the middle of the night with indigestion. I started working for a new company several years later as I hit my 30’s at 130 lbs. Eventually, I gained even more weight at a faster rate & in just a mere 4 years later I was at 145 lbs as the denial, shopping of bigger clothes, & donating of old clothes continued. I would scoff at “heavy” pictures of me and continued to avoid weighing myself. My running was inconsistent at 1-3x a week (if any) as I made up any excuse not to run (rain, tired, no time). Although I’d still enter races, I’d train in short bursts before the race, complete the race in really slow form, & completely stop running afterwards for weeks or months at a time.

During that time, I said to myself since I lost the weight that 1st time in college & I should be able to do it again so I followed the same process: I studied the food pyramid & ate at the lower end, wrote down what I ate & felt as well as my goals, bought healthy foods, and continued to enter races. Yet, I was really frustrated because if the weight came off it was a very slow process. Finally, I would get bored with being healthy & I’d go back to my poor eating habits & run sporadically. This cycle would continue for years as I avoided the scale even though I knew in the back of my mind I was getting heavier.
Additionally, even though I knew how to eat healthy & that I needed to run more, I would falter during my PMS days, when I’d get sick, after a big party or bbq, etc. So I’d fall off the wagon, & stop running & eat like crap – fried foods, pastries – for immediate gratification. It would only be about 1-2 lbs up & down but it was a painful 1-2 lbs and eventually, a few more pounds would show up the scale.

I was finally on my way to losing a few pounds then I got pregnant & gained 40 lbs during my pregnancy – probably a little more than I should have. Of course I completely stopped running & ate whatever I wanted, which included a lot of fatty foods and take-out. I knew it was going to be difficult to lose the weight and I wondered how I would ever fit running into my schedule again after being a mommy.
Someone told me I could start exercising about a month after giving birth. Yeah, right…try a year. I started running but I was still inconsistent. I was really tired from lack of sleep in large part because I was still breastfeeding & my baby didn’t “sleep through the night” like everyone else’s. However, I did start on weight watchers with some co-workers so we could all provide support to each other. Although I didn’t really follow the plan to the tee, I learned a lot of information about portion control & especially liked the weekly weigh-ins as I slowly started to lose some weight.

Finally after I weaned my daughter off I put back on some 5-lbs within month & that’s when I decided I really needed to get serious about it. I had ballooned to 165 lbs, I was exhausted all the time, and I really hated myself in pictures. In addition, I couldn’t believe I had to buy a size 12 pants! Although they were loose I was determined not to go up another size. In addition, my tops were edging close from medium to the large sizes. One day I was complaining to someone at work about how too tired I was to exercise, & she replied “That’s how it is being a mother”. I reflected on this for a second & said to myself “NOT ME” & I made a commitment to start running again but this time more consistently. I watched what I ate & I was finally running 4x/week for at least 40 minutes. Slowly but surely I lost 10 lbs – about a pound a week during the summer months & I was down to 155 lbs. However, this plateau would last through the end of the year & I was got really frustrated.

I knew I had to do some strength training but as I researched on-line, I became overwhelmed with the amount of information out there, got easily frustrated, & kept putting it off. I never thought I’d ever hire a personal trainer but it was the best investment I’ve ever made. One day my husband told me an acquaintance we knew just got certified as a trainer & I knew I had to take this opportunity. During my first session in February 2008 she showed me proper form, tweaked my workouts (cut down running to 3x/week & added jumping rope 1x/week), & provided me a new wealth of information both on exercise & nutrition. I was on my way to losing the rest of my baby weight….

Are you where you want to be?
Yes, I’m currently at 132 lbs (-33 lbs), which is what feels “right” for my body. My initial goal weight was 135 lbs & I actually went down to 128 lbs & finally settled at this weight. Although it’s been the greatest feeling ever I know I still have a long road ahead of me because the hard work is just beginning. As time passes, I do find myself more at ease with my healthy eating habits & workouts.

How has life changed for you since you've lost the weight?
I have so much more confidence, strength, & I have energy to keep up with my 4-yr old daughter. I also feel more relaxed, partly because I started practicing yoga too. I’ve been shopping a lot more too…which doesn’t really help my budget but I truly believe non-food rewards are important. That said I have a lot more pride about what I wear. I no longer choose loose, black clothes to cover myself. I’ve been choosing clothing that flatters my body in different colors & prints (I’m a size 6). I’ve also starting using more accessories & jewelry.

If you're maintaining, what's that like for you?
After reaching my goal weight, it was an adjustment not focusing on lowering the # on the scale anymore.

To keep on track, I make sure I incorporate many of my own little “healthy habits tricks” everyday. For instance, I make sure I eat every 3-4 hours so I’m not starving. I also eat when I’m 8/10ths full so I don’t feel like a beached whale after meals.

I also plan a lot prior to my “food trigger” moments. For example, prior to going to a restaurant I peruse the menu beforehand on-line so I can make healthy choices. As I face these situations more often, I’m not as nervous about them as I used to be because my confidence grows in learning to deal more effectively with these situations as I face them head on.

I’m not perfect & there are times where I eat more than I’ve planned. However, unlike the past I get back on the wagon & eat lighter at the next meal & continue with my workouts & even add an extra workout to compensate.

Compliments from others were nice at first but now I’m over it. I’m glad because I don’t need them to keep going. I’m actually kind of irritated when people ask me how I did it & when I begin to tell them they start having this glazed look in their eyes because they don’t want to hear that it’s hard work…they want a magic pill. I believe a lot of people don’t take me seriously because of comments such as “you’ve always been a runner” or “you weren’t that heavy”, etc (I have a small frame). Nevertheless, people are surprised when I tell them how much weight I lost then I get the “it doesn’t look like you had to lose that much” or “you weren’t heavy for that long” (my daughter turned 3 when I finally lost the baby weight). It’s almost as if they think I can’t possibly understand how it is to really be overweight because I wasn’t that big. Or maybe it’s because when I was really big it wasn’t for that long so it couldn’t have really had it that bad or it wasn’t that difficult for me to lose the weight.

It was a lot of hard work & although it gets a little easier it still is a lot of work. People don’t realize there is no “magical place” once you reach your goal weight where you can eat whatever you stop exercising – unless you want to gain the weight back.

Do you exercise regularly?
Yes, I have to admit, while most people struggle with deciding whether or not to workout, I find I spend more time planning my workouts in advance so when I get up in the morning I just do it. I don’t waste my time thinking up excuses. I know exercise is great for my body & I’ll feel awesome afterwards & I’ll have a better day. I think back to the times when I didn’t work out & remember telling myself if I ever get fit again I will never take my fitness for granted because I did not want to feel the way I did this very moment. I workout every other day for at least 40-60 minutes as follows with a combination of cardio (running, jump rope, stationary bike, fitness DVDs or elliptical) & strength-training (free weights, bands, or medicine ball). I also practice yoga once a week. I do not particularly enjoy strength training so I follow my “10-minute rule” & just do it for 10 minutes (most of the time I fit in at least 20 minutes).

Now that you're at your goal, what are your concerns?
#1: I’m worried about becoming overconfident & allowing the weight to creep up on me slowly like I did over the years.
However, I have tools in place that I didn’t before to keep me focused: “just fit” clothes I try on every month, I track my workouts on an excel spreadsheet, I have a calendar at home & at work with colorful stickers indicating my workouts. In addition, I enter my daily weight in the google15 – just curious if anyone does this? I used to keep track of my food on fitday but slowly weaned myself off (although I still log on & write my feelings in the journal). I think I got a bit obsessive about logging every food item & although it helped me during my weight loss period, I realized I eat pretty much the same foods on a daily basis. If I do gain the weight back (my magic maximum # is 135 lbs) then I’m back on fitday. To compromise, I made an excel spreadsheet cheat sheet indicating the calories of the foods I normally eat including cheat foods so I won’t “forget” & keeps me on track (you can tell I love excel spreadsheets).

Sometimes I worry about not being able to keep up with my workout schedule. To counter this, I tell myself as life changes, I need to be flexible. When I look back at when I regained the weight, I realized I didn’t have a back-up plan when life “happens” even though I saw it coming (i.e. job changes). I know life will change & I may not be able to have the exact workout schedule I do now but I’m confident I can find a way to fit in my workouts in one way shape or form.

I also realized my workouts need to be varied & if I want to run for a long time & prevent injuries I need to cross-train too. As I mentioned earlier, at least once a week I practice yoga and try other forms of cardio – jump rope, kickboxing, elliptical, or stationary bike. I also like taking classes at the gym at least a few times a year with friends to learn something new. This year I want to try Pilates & kickboxing.

In addition, I am very fortunate also to have a very supportive husband who understands working out is very important to me. He oftentimes takes care of our daughter so I can workout. Fortunately, he’s finally on the same page as me when it comes to choosing to live healthy. For years he had a high metabolism & I swear he could eat fried chicken every other day and not gain a pound. However, his metabolism finally starting slowed down & when he went to the doctor for a routine physical (which took me years of prodding), he received a scolding from his doctor due to his poor triglyceride, cholesterol, & blood pressure readings. So he decided on his own to start working out more consistently & watching what he ate & cooking healthier for both of us.

Another very important attitude change that will help me to keep on track is my mantra “I don’t want to take pills when I get older.” I see too many people use this as the easy way out. Genetically, I have a high cholesterol but I’m determined not to have to take a statin to keep it under control because I believe I can control it with a healthy lifestyle (incidentally, I have a cousin who takes a statin for cholesterol & now has a liver problem).

My goal when I turn 40 in 2 years is to be as fit as I am now or better =)
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Old 06-19-2009, 10:01 AM   #177
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Hi workingmom! Glad you've joined us and thanks for posting "your story" so we can get to know you a bit. Please jump into the forum wherever you feel comfortable - we have a weekly maintainers chat, food & exercise accountability thread, and a bunch of other threads here, and there are many forums filled with interesting and supportive people all over this board. Glad you've found us!
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Old 06-22-2009, 10:51 AM   #178
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Hi there workingmom! Welcome! This forum has been very helpful to me trying to maintain my weight loss, and there are a lot of great people here with amazing success stories to answer questions and provide support! Like Megan said, check out the threads and jump in wherever you feel comfortable!
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Old 06-22-2009, 10:56 AM   #179
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Hi workingmom! Welcome!
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Old 07-20-2009, 09:48 PM   #180
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Hi everyone, I'm new to this. I have been visiting this website for over a year, but never actually registered to it. Now I wanted to come on here and introduce myself.

I am 25 years old. I just graduated from law school, and am studying to take the bar exam, which is next week. Growing up I had always thought of myself as the "chunky kid" or just plain fatter than everyone else. I always felt like something was wrong with me, and I focused way too much on it. I look at the pictures now of what I looked like back then, and I was a healthy weight. I have always been super athletic. I think my problem stems from the way I was raised. My parents made my weight the center of attention. I think they had good intentions, but went about it the wrong way. My mother was concerned for our health and just never wanted us to get unhealthy. However, her constant telling me to stop eating and persuading me that I was no longer hungry, always made me think I was ugly or fat. After my mom passed away when I was 13 years old, my dad increased his pressure on me. My father has always mentioned that I could lose another 5lbs. After my mother died, I did not know how to handle anything. I ended up losing drastic amounts of weight, that I now look back on and think was unhealthy. I thought that was my only way to cope.

Anyways, speeding things up to the more present time. I have always been a healthy weight and very athletic, though I believed otherwise. I started gaining some weight in college. I started college at about 112lbs. I maintained about 125lbs most of college. My senior year, I shot up to 140lbs. I started trying to diet, but kept failing. I think my whole life has been a diet. I stopped eating. I would starve myself, and I would do excessive amount of exercise. The most I would ever manage to lose was about 5lbs. Then I would hear my father tell me it was good, but 5 more was better. After a short while, I would give up and gain so much more weight. I started law school in August 2006. I had been with my boyfriend for only a short while and he made me feel so liberated, and not worried about my weight. At the end of that first year I was up to 170lbs. I tried to diet and went down to 160lbs. I was so happy for my progress, but it just was not enough for others. I gained it all back feeling like a total failure. In March 2008, I had gone up to 186.6. My father constantly mentioned my need to lose weight. For some strange reason, I felt liberated at 186.6. I felt like I had no cares and worries. I felt great for the first time in my life. I then started bumping into people that once knew me at 112lbs. I started getting a lot of comments. I also got engaged in April 2008, and figured it was about time I got serious. I then discovered this website. This website helped me immensely. Though I never posted until today, it was a source of encouragement and strength. I realized that weight could be lost and health gained by being healthy. It was possible if there was healthy food and healthy exercise. I started on a very healthy exercise and food plan. I checked calories, but never really strictly counted calories. I never went hungry. I ate to make sure I got what I needed. I worked out about 5-6 times a week for about 1-2hrs a day depending on how much time I had. I ended up losing 64lbs. I originally set a goal for 51lbs to get down to 135. When I hit 135 back in January I adjusted my goal weight to 118. I managed to get down to 123lbs the day of my wedding (April 4, 2009), and felt fantastic. I never have felt so great in my life. I managed to drop down to 122 right after my wedding and maintained it for a little while. A few weeks ago I started my incline again. I feel like such a failure at times, but I decided to visit this website again. I thought it was time to post because I needed encouragement.

I now weigh 132lbs. I cannot believe I let myself gain 10lbs in about 2-3weeks. I thought this time was going to be different. I told myself I was not going to gain weight. I never was going to let myself go above 130lbs. I must admit though, that i have no stuck to plan. I have no worked out since I started studying for the bar exam back in May. I have stopped eating healthy. I just can't seem to stop eating. I am overly stressed out about the bar exam, and my only refuge is food. I came on here to get encouragement because I do not want to relapse further. Though my father was so happy I had lost 64lbs, everyday he constantly reminded me how hard it was to drop weight. Everyday he reminds me of how much I have to eat less. When I was down at 122lbs he asked me everyday how much I weigh. I just do not know how to deal with all the pressures, and still manage to maintain. I hope I am able to get myself back on plan.

I know this was merely supposed to be an introduction, and if you read this far, thank you. I am sorry for the long post. it has just been one of those days. I ate everything in sight, I'm studying non-stop for this bar exam, and I am overly stressed out with my weight and life.

Okay I shall go back to studying now. Thanks for listening.
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