I've been enjoying the posts and support of 3FC this year. I started my weight lose on Jan 20--inaugeration day. I wanted to bring "change" to my own life. But my biggest reason was I sincerely believed that weight loss would help the pain in my knees which had been developing the past year or two. I also have had back issues that core strengthening would help.
I kept a journal that reminded me of the national issues going on with a new president that sometimes paralleled my own daily work to lose weight. There were days when I had my entire agenda on track. There were days when it seemed there were too many outside issues defeating my serious efforts. I found it fun and interesting to see the similarities.
I decided in January that I hoped to get to my max BMI (145). By May, I'd had enough consistent weekly success to consider lowering my goal weight. I planned myself to lose one pound a week--through injury, illness, busy-ness, and strange outside forces. I ended up losing about 1.5-2 pounds per week. Mostly because I walked many many steps but never "counted" that as exercise. I only counted the burned calories of my early morning dvd workouts. Anything else was to hedge my math for each day's calories.
I ended up targeting 138 and looked like I'd make it by my vacation home. I came darn close at 140. On vacation, I hoped to enjoy some delicious food while keeping to my fitness intensity of the past couple months (1 1/2 hours of intense cardio, five days a week).
Unfortunately, when I returned from vacation I ended up in the ER with what now looks like my first bout with sciatica. I'd been struggling with my latest hip pain issues for a month. Vacation, running for miles and hours on concrete, and train travel did me in. I injured an ab muscle trying to flip with my injury. My sciatic nerve was causing numbness, severe tight hamstring, and weird walking gait. I also had the pleasure of experiencing a horrible rash over both my nicely toned arms that was horrible. It's called KP and a lifelong condition that is flaring up--both my sons have it too (but no flare-ups thankfully).
My office work continued to be intense and demanding. I was on daily muscle relaxers, pain meds, constant carrot juice (yuck), and evening baths with sugar/sesameseed oil exfoilation.
It's been a month and I'm slowly recovering my former strength. I've been off most meds for two weeks. I've been constantly stretching and working my hamstring and entire leg. My gait is much improved. I'm getting used to the numbness. My KP (skin thing) is completely gone. This week I have done my regular dvd routine (with the next lower weight for hand weights---5 instead of 8 pounds). Tomorrow I hope to continue this and insert my normal ab routine too.
After all this...I've gone up and down three pounds. Around my TOM, I had maxed to 144. I have binged but I've compensated with a low cal next day. I'm now able to exercise more.
I feel safe now to know that I can have serious health crisis and not turn back in to that heavy woman I was last year. I can maintain--and lose the last few pounds to perfectly fit my dream dress for the upcoming inaugeration party for our incumbant mayor (there are no other candidates this year).
For me, clothes to fit into are serious guides to my maintenance. I am dumping all my larger sized clothes. My "save everything" mindset is allowing me for once to give every single non-fitting clothes to Goodwill. I will never need them for any reason ever again--no matter what.
•Is this the first time or one of many times that you've tried to lose weight?
-----This is my first time to combine exercise and a food plan (not a diet). I never really knew enough to know the connections of food, calories, exercise. I learned volumetrics just before I started in January and I felt supremely informed and prepared to be successful.
•Are you where you want to be?
---If I can really believe I wear size 6 & 8, then maybe I'm where I want to be. I do want to fit solidly in size 6 so I can more reliably shop for clothes.
•How has life changed for you since you've lost the weight?
---I'm so much more powerful. I am defending myself to women who normally can be very passive agressive with me. Yesterday, I told a 60 yr-old woman at a group meeting that I will not take her comment and I feel attacked for no reason. (Later everyone said they were so glad I told her off. She's always cruel to people). I have committed myself to a PhD program starting next Fall (2010) because I feel so empowered and able to handle everything.
•If you're maintaining, what's that like for you?
---I have tried maintaining--basically--for two months. I feared reaching goal. I feared it. A 3FC supporter suggested that I keep creating goals to target. Right now it's the very slow application process for the PhD program. I haven't suddenly gained 40 pounds. I'm still plugging along. I do see that I need to count calories. Luckily, I'm perfectly happy eating volumetrics for life. I also love the meals I eat. So, I see this process continuing. My binging is an issue that needs to be examined and look for some solutions to reveal themselves. 3fatchicks will be important for some time.
•Do you exercise regularly?
---I am working back up to five times a week. I want to get down to 138. My next goal after that is to increase muscle and reduce fat percentages.
•Now that you're near or at your goal, what are your concerns?
My binges are my biggest concern. I do not feel that my knees, sciatica, hip and medical issues do not slow me down. I've had these issues all year. I only find them motivating and reminders that I lost weight and maintain my fitness level because I must have core strength and leg muscle.
And anything else that you might want to share with us!
I learned and continue to reflect on my visit to family after weight loss. My sisters practically ignored it. No one in my family took a photo of me (except my sons when I asked them). One friend who lives near us here (who was visiting her family at the same time I visited mine) asked about photos and I told her no one had taken anything. She snapped a few for me.
When I talked with my dad about my almost complete application PhD program and the very positive support the PhD chair continues to give me, my dad told me I should instead go teach an evening class at the local community college. He later said my niece (who almost was arrested this past Spring for her wild ways) was brilliant and likely to be able to get a doctorate.
I finally was able to place my support network where it belonged--inside of me. I can't rely on family, friends, or anyone. I need to review each success, say each thing I'm grateful for, and continue my maintenance. I am strong now and practically pain free. This is maintenance--living and continuing.
Welcome to maintenance, iaradajnos! And congrats on your loss!
This forum has been so much help to me during the maintenance process. Everyone is supportive and helpful, and have answered so many crazy questions from me! I hope you find some of that same support here! I'm sorry you don't get it from your family.
What a fantastic story you have! What are you going to study in your program?
Oh, thank you. I do find so much support even while lurking. Sometimes I'm reading a message by someone that really is asking my question or revealing my own issues. The replies and conversations are so helpful. I just think there's so much here.
I tried to consider a PhD program about 2 yrs ago but didn't. Last year, I'd loss some weight and I stood up for the entire office and put myself on the limb to report a very abusive boss. Five people had quit and it looked like nothing would happen. After my report with the CEO, the boss was fired. Now, this year I'm more than empowered--I'm anatomically changed to allow me to pursue the impossible. I'm going for a PhD in Public Policy to focus on vulnerable populations.
A very good friend of mine was about 230 pounds or so last year. She had been about this weight or more for the past six or seven years taht we've known each other. She has lost so much weight. Well, recently she was called in by her CEO of her company where they asked her if she would tell them about her direct supervisor. They had lost four employees because of him. After a 1 1/2 hour meeting, the CEO asked if she would consider taking on that key director's position.
Losing weight adds so many valuable changes in life. It's more than getting healthy. And for me, that was my greatest hope. I was (and still am) living in pain. Getting in shape has helped me to manage and reduce the pain. Losing weight adds even more.
It's finding value within and around you. It's prioritizing life, direction, and purpose. These skills grow from within the process of losing or shedding the covering to get to the core.
Very glad to be here, Shannon.
My name is Sonja.
Last edited by iaradajnos : 10-14-2009 at 09:33 PM.
For the past 4 years I have been working to maintain within my Goal Weight Maintenance Range, which is between 115-105 lbs.
I developed a weight-problem at puberty...which for me was age 9.
I am now over 60 years old.
During my lifetime, I've lost 100+ lbs four separate times and regained it 3 times.
I've been on almost every diet and belonged to most diet-clubs.
I spent 5 very active years in Overeaters Anonymous.
I spent 20 years in therapy addressing this (as well as other) issues.
I spent time in an outpatient eating disorders hospital program dealing with binge eating.
17 years ago, after the OA, the therapy, and the eating disorders program, I had a gastric bypass,
which did not remove any intestine so that every calorie I eat is still absorbed.
At that time I weighed 271 lbs. I lost to 160 lbs,
maintained there for several years and then began to regain weight.
At 190 lbs in September 2004, I began using a food journaling program, Diet Power,
to log every bite of food I took, and began, on my own, working to eat approximately
1000 to 1200 calories per day with a daily calorie average of around 1250.
After an average weight loss of about 1 lb per week for a 16 month period
I reached my goal of 115 lbs.
Since then, I've been working to maintain in a range near that number.
I still log all of my food into my software journal every day,
and work to keep my calorie averages low enough to maintain my goal weight.
My Height is 5'0", and I'm over 60, so maintaining a light weight has not been an easy task.
I am in excellent health, and take no medication.
I now have extensive personal data records which are contained in my software program.
They show that during the past 4 years of maintenance, my calorie burn has dropped lower every year.
This is despite the fact that I do frequent and consistent low-impact exercise.
The first maintenance year, 2006, I was burning a daily average of around 1400 calories.
In 2008, that daily average burn went down to around 1250 calories.
In 2009, that daily average burn went down to around 1080 calories.
I see no basis for this, and I'm hoping it is a temporary phenomenon.
Even so, I am determined to continue to maintain my current size and weight.
Last edited by Bright Angel : 11-24-2009 at 08:46 PM.
Hi. I have lost 50 pounds over the last 18 months. I didn't follow a specific diet, but cut out the junk, added lots of fruits & veg, and started a modest exercise program (mostly walking). I found this forum when I was looking on info on maintenance, and have been lurking for a month or two. I hit my goal a couple of weeks ago, and decided to join the forum, because I am concerned about gaining the weight back and want some accountability in case I backslide. I have already learned a lot by browsing through the threads.
Is this the first time or one of many times that you've tried to lose weight? One of many times, but the first time in about 20 years. I dieted a lot in my teens and twenties (I'm 41 now) but always tried very low cal diets, got cranky and weak, and went off them before I could lose 10 pounds.
Are you where you want to be? Not sure. I have a BMI of 22.1, but some weight-loss tables say I could lose 10 more pounds to be optimal. Nevertheless, I am going to maintain for at least 6 months before I decide if I want to continue.
How has life changed for you since you've lost the weight? Feel so much better. I lost weight for health reasons and I have much more energy and stamina and my general mood and outlook on life has improved.
If you're maintaining, what's that like for you? Hard. Have only been doing it a week or so. Not sure how many calories I can add.
Do you exercise regularly? I log 10,000 pedometer steps a day (some jogging but mostly walking). Occasional calisthenics for resistance training.
Now that you're near or at your goal, what are your concerns? Losing sight of my goal. Losing healthy habits. Binging. Backsliding. Going out to eat (haven't been to a restaurant in 6 mo!). Trigger foods.
* Is this the first time or one of many times that you've tried to lose weight?
One of many, although most times were short term and not sustained. It is the second time I have dieted for a sustained period to lose 45lbs plus, and both times I did that using the Weightwatchers points system. Last time I stayed at or under my goal weight for a year, although as I continued to drop weight during that time slowly, then started regaining, it's debatable whether I truly learned to maintain. This time around I went to the doctor about pitting edema on my ankles and breathlessness after doing small things like climbing stairs. Since my dad has heart failure, I was worried about that possibility. My doc told me to lose weight and sent me for various hospital tests. The tests came out normal, but that was such a huge wake-up call that if I didn't have serious problems now, I'd probably get them later. That caused the *click* in my head which got my motivation back.
* Are you where you want to be?
Earlier, shortly before going on maintenance, I said I felt quite comfortable where I was. However, 'comfortable' seems to be relative with me. I lost some more weight after going on maintenance, most of it in the first 3 months after goal. As of the time of editing this I am at least 15lb lower, and prefer being the size I am now. I can still see areas I would like to improve but I have some loose skin and saggy bits. I'm not sure that more weight loss is going to help with that. Give me a time machine and I might finally be satisfied with how I look. ;-)
* How has life changed for you since you've lost the weight?
Physically, I felt older than my years before this. Now that I am fitter I feel younger again, and I don't suffer much from the aches and pains and bad circulation I was getting. Although I get cyclical water retention I haven't had swollen ankles since. I love having more choice of clothes and generally feel a bit better about myself. I like that my cooking has improved this time around, as I wanted to have a good repertoire of healthy recipes so that I wouldn't get tempted to eat out or get takeout too often. I live in a very hilly area and one thing that pleased me recently was walking up a particularly steep hill from my local train station and not feeling like I was struggling every step of the way.
* If you're maintaining, what's that like for you?
It feels very similar to losing the weight, except I'm not so haunted by the impatience I used to suffer when the scale doesn't move down. I still feel better about a loss than a gain though. My routine of counting points and keeping an eye on my weight is still the same, only involving a little more to eat. I don't intend to stop weighing myself and nor do I intend to stop counting points yet. I have moments when I wish I could be 'normal' so that I wouldn't need to rely on counting anything to control my food intake, but I don't trust my weight not to creep up if I abandon it at this stage.
* Do you exercise regularly?
Ahem. I *aim* to exercise at 5 days a week, not to any high level, just regularly. I have grown more inconsistent though, and I now notice my strength and cardiovascular fitness isn't as good as it was months ago. For possibly the millionth time I'm working on the regularity again.
* Now that you're near or at your goal, what are your concerns?
I am worried that I'll get back into old patterns of emotional eating and drinking, particularly when under pressure. Last time I genuinely thought I'd made permanent changes to my habits, but as soon as I started going through a stressful period in my life with some financial problems, everything fell apart. I didn't revert to good habits once my life became more stable again. So I don't know if I can ever get complacent.
Last edited by lora m : 11-18-2010 at 08:59 PM.
Reason: I originally wrote this shortly before going on maintenance. I'm editing some of it, to reflect how I feel 7 months on.
I'm not quite to goal yet, but have been lurking, and decided to introduce myself.
I have lost weight off and on all of my adult life, and each time reverted to old habits and regained all I'd lost and they brought friends with them. So each time I lost weight, I had more to lose than the next time.
I have lost 53.5 lbs. and have 4.5 lbs. to go to reach goal.
I feel and look better since losing the weight.
I do not regularly exercise in the way one normally thinks of exercizing, because I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, which has impaired my ability to function, causes pain, and depletes energy. The exercizing I do is low impact and focuses on maintaining function as much as possible.
My biggest concern as I near my goal is that I might repeat all my past mistakes and gain it back. In the past I lost weight rapidly & had the infamous "diet mentality". I just kept going back to my previous WOE. This time my weight loss has been very slow. It has taken me 3 years to get to this point, & I have been focusing on learning to be a good steward of my body & learning to eat in a way I can live with for the rest of my life. I am very hopeful this time, but know I need all the support I can get to maintain. For me maintaining is so much harder than losing.
I've been at my Goal Weight - I'm a member of TOPS weight loss group - for about 3 months. As I look back at my childhood in San Diego, amongst many very thin children (by todays' standards) I was usually the slightly larger child. I remember being 5'5" in the 6th grade, and 120#. I'd get the occasional comment from classmates, like "wow", but the comments that really hurt were from family and friends. My grandmother called me "fattie". My sister said I had a big butt. I remember glances from grown men who looked at me as if I were a grown woman. Also, the Barbie Doll and Twiggie came into my life just as I was beginning to develop. I know in my head that these things combined to make my own body image somewhat twisted. Before it had a name, I was anorexic. I got down to 95# in Junior High. My mother was worried, so we moved far away from family and friends. I quickly gained 45#. I would stay in our apartment, skipping school, and just eat. In High School, I was my current height of 5'7", and 160#. My doctor kept telling me I had to lose weight. I should be 125#. I hated going to the doctor and hearing that. I was already miserable and friendless. Many years later, I'm at my goal weight of 150#. Still 5'7". I think my body looks terrific....in clothes, anyway, but I'm still not sure. I've gone from a size 18 at 180# to a size 10. That's my history. I know I will always have a problem with food. I try to eat healthily - I eat out less than 5 times a year - but sneak snacks as if I am still a child. I consider exercise a blessing. I work hard at it, and am good at it for my age of 58.
Hi - I'm thrilled to find an established forum of fellow maintainers!
Is this the first time or one of many times that you've tried to lose weight?
This is the first time I've attempted a sustainable attempt to lose weight. I have had a weight problem since early childhood. Apart from a few unsustainable attempts at dieting in my early 20s, I continued to steadily gain weight. By the time I reached my mid-40s, I weighed 100kg (about 220 pounds).
Are you where you want to be?
Yep. I've lost 40kg (about 90 pounds) bringing my BMI to 23-point-something, and will reach my eight-year "thiniversary" later in 2011. Best of all, I'm maintaining steadily.
How has life changed for you since you've lost the weight?
It's changed in so many ways! I feel completely different - far more confident and energetic, and people treat me very differently (that was an unpleasant realisation at first).
If you're maintaining, what's that like for you?
I've found maintenance to be a part-time job. The longer you do it, the easier it gets, but sometimes I feel I'm on a treadmill - no pun intended! I'm aware that I need to stay on track, but sometimes, to be perfectly honest, I do get a bit fed up with it.
Do you exercise regularly?
I exercise for about 15.5 hours a week (8 hours of which are intense exercise). That 15.5 hours includes warming-up, stretching, prehab-type exercises, and other activities just for the fun of it such as yoga, Pilates, tai chi and hiking with my husband.
Because I've built up considerable muscle mass, I no longer need that much exercise to maintain my weight, but I do it anyway because I want to improve on all fronts - strength, flexibility and cardiovascular output and endurance, as well as improve my form and skills. I have a very stressful full-time job and exercise is both a hobby and means of stress reduction for me.
Now that you're near or at your goal, what are your concerns?
I guess my main concern is finding time to fit in my exercise regime, for example when I need to work late night after night, or work on the weekends.
My secondary concern is that, since I took up kettlebell training a few months ago, my body is changing shape very dramatically, and my pants are all baggy. I know that's a nice problem to have, but it's messing with my self-image a bit. I feel like I did when I first lost weight and sometimes didn't recognise my own reflection. But as I say, it's a nice problem to have...
My before and after pix are published on another forum, but I'll wait until my husband has taken some "after-after" pix before publishing them here.
Wow.Glad you posted this redpanda.I'm 7lbs away from goal and have had major anxieties about maintaining. It's nice to have a heads-up from women like yourself ; your post is a nice synopsis of many that I've read.It's interesting you talk a lot about exercise but not about food.I infer that,for you, the fact you exercise a lot helps with eating what you want within reason? I love the exercise part of my weight loss and health improvements as well.But I love good food too! I've learned that a smaller amount is as satisfying as a mega plate..go figure.
Thanks again for the post redpanda.
It's interesting you talk a lot about exercise but not about food.I infer that,for you, the fact you exercise a lot helps with eating what you want within reason?
I've figured out the right food/exercise balance for me. For me, maintenance is down to 50/50 diet and exercise. I certainly don't starve myself, but I'm very mindful of what I eat. I eat roughly within a set calorie range every day and my diet is very "clean" - no sugar, processed food, refined carbs etc. The good part is that stuff doesn't call to me - well, at least not very often!
I've also think that exercise is necessary, not just to burn calories, but to keep our metabolisms humming along at a good level.
I have been lurking for a long while and figured it was time to introduce myself as I am 7 POUNDS AWAY FROM GOAL and have felt the urge to post replies to threads and have refrained from doing so, well because I have not formally introduced myself.
I need to post a profile picture, maybe some before's and afters, and will try to do so soon, but in the meantime, here is my story in a nutshell.
during my childhood and teenage years I went from being a skinny baby and preschooler, to being a chubby fifth grader, to being slim in middle school (though I felt fat compared to my peers) to gaining a bunch of weight in highschool. Around ninth grade I went to a nutritionist and started going to a gym and lost a bit of weight, though that lasted for about a year maybe two.
Gained a bunch of weight the first year in college, made it to around 160 pounds (I am 5 feet 2 inches). then did Jenny Craig. lost 20 pounds with the program. went on to lose about 5 more on my own, thoguh the 135 weight lasted for about a week or so. but was able to keep the 140 for about 2 to 3 years. developed bulimia unfortunately. I would binge and make myself throw up or exercise excesively. then several lifestyle changes happened i.e. got a job out of college, did my MBA, got married (to a chef, can you imagine the yummy yet fattening meals we had every night ) , bought a house, had two kids. so, ended up at 225 when pregnant with my second child. lost to 191 on my own after the birth, then went back to Jenny Craig. lost about 20 again with them, then went down to 147 on my own. but... i did it the wrong way... though the bingeing did not come back, I did go back to purging, and though i did not make myself throw up, I started abusing laxatives and eating very little or at leat not balanced diet, and this time I wasnt exercising. the 147 weight lasted about a week, but I was able to keep it around 150 for about a yer or so. then another lifestyle changed, we moved from Puerto Rico to northern Virginia, so sold the house, bought a new house, started a very rewarding but stress filled job, have an almost 2 hour a day commute, etc. etc. etc. and over the last 4 years managed to go up to 201.6 (except for a brief period in 2008 where I managed to drop 10 pounds or so for a vacation).
So this January/February several things happened which I consider my triggers: I broke a camping chair (yes, it was a 4 year old camping chair, but still, I am sure it was my weight), I got a (false positive turne out to be) pre-hypertension result which scared the heck out of me as there is history of cardiovascular disease/diabetes in my family, I realized that come Spring/Summer I would have NO clothes to fit me and I would have to either get a new wardrobe or spend the following seasons uncomfortable and being the fat mom at the pool, and of course, going over the 200 pound mark, yikes. So I decided I needed to do something. I realized I had forgotten how to eat and i remembered I had done well instructured plans (jenny craig) but this time around i did not want to (nor had time to) go to weekly appointments, etc with a counselor so I decided to try nutrisystem instead (less expensive too, whcih was a concern for me). Started February 22 (right after the holiday!). My plan was to follow the eating plan to a T and exercise at home in the treadmill every morning. I did strict Nutrisystem for 2 months and for the last 3 months or so I have been folloiwng their meal plan but wiht my own food OR eating what my handsome husband makes BUT in tiny portions or with certain substitutions. so while it was tough initially, now I dont feel deprived at all. I have done away with sugar and artificial sweeteners. I only drink water all day and one cup of black coffee (no creamer or sweetener) in the morning, 7 servings of fruits and veggies a day, low GI carbs, high protein, etc. I ahve been on the treadmill every y since, for 30 minutes, except for three days in which I was still physically active otehrwise (either went to a park and rode the bike, were in an amusement park logging in thousands of steps, etc. I started this journey with the goal of it being a healthy one (which has been so far, no binging, purging, starving, etc but rather healthy diet and exercise and moderation, and vitamins, etc.) and that it woudl be a lifestyle change (not getting any younger here and dont want to be a diabetic ever which is my biggest fear).
anyway, I am down to 143 as of yesterday (after 5+ months) and I had originally set my goal weight at 136 (which would be 65 pounds lost) since that is the highest weight in the normal range according to BMI. after I get there I plan to continue doing what I am doing (1,200 to 1,300 cals a day plus the half hour exercise) for a bit longer to see if I can drop down to the low 130s for a buffer. If i lose into the 120s then that will be the frosting on the cake since I have not seen that weight since 7th grade. but somehow this time I feel that I could do it since I am doing it the healthy way and not the crash and burn way. my husband does like a bit of meat on the bones, and I am feeling pretty comfortable right now with my current weight, so goal is close!
i have been reading old threads here in maintainers, (since I know in the past my challenge rather than losing has been maintaining the weight loss) and if there is something I have learned is that maintaining looks just like losing, which is why i have made sure the plan i have is sustainable for me in the long run and i am pretty confident it is. i am not blind to the challenges that may come my way, but i have made a vow to myself to never be in denial again thus weighing myself twice daily (works for me despite normal fluctuations, i prefer to understand the normal fluctuations and embrace them ).
my biggest challenge so far comes this week during a week long busienss trip (happens annually and usually gain weight during it) but this year I am more than mentally prepared and have a plan to succeed, at the minimum maintain, and maybe even lose. i know where the fiteness center is, where the supermarket is, have checked restaurants menus online, etc.
so, i am sorry for the looong drawn out post, but I think it helped me to put all of this in "writing" and wanted you to konw who I am for when I started posting. again, my plan to lose the last 7 pounds and then maintain is to continue watching the cals, stick to low GI carbs, high protein, lots of water, daily exercise, daily weigh in, etc. just continue doing what I am doing.