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Old 11-02-2004, 05:27 AM   #46
Meg
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Welcome Anne and Dee! What terrific stories! We're looking forward to hearing a lot more from of both of you - you both have a lot of wisdom and experience to share.
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Old 11-05-2004, 08:25 AM   #47
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Hi Meg and everyone -

I've been lurking in this forum for several weeks now and I have decided to join in, at least occasionally as time permits.

Perhaps a brief background at first. In July 2001, I found myself at 191, bigger than I had ever been. As I discovered a few months ago, 191 works out to a BMI of 30.9 or clinically obese. The causes were twofold - arthritis had robbed me of most of my ability and motivation to run and I was using food to make up for shortcomings in a failing marriage. I couldn't run any more but I could stop eating fried mozzarella sticks and jalapeno poppers. By October 2002, I had battled my way down to 151. I fought for every one of those 640 ounces, figuring that I was having such a difficult time because I was now 40 rather than 27. Last time I lost a significant amount of weight, I had been 27 and that was when I had taken up running. In November 2002, I, now divorced, started a new relationship and lost my tenuous grasp of the weight-loss process. By August 2003, I was back up to 169. I started the battle again in earnest. By September, when the WeightWatcher signs began appearing around work, I had lost a pound. When a friend told me she had once lost 23 pounds in 12 weeks on WW, I signed up for WW@Work. Maybe WW knows something I don't, I thought.

I started WW at 168 in mid-September; by mid-December, I hit my WW goal of 142. By early January, I hit my personal goal of 135. My current weight of 130 was actually a dream weight. It was my running weight, more or less, but I did not expect to ever see it again. I certainly did not expect to see it at 43. It is also an accident and it is why I am here, posting in this forum.

When I hit goal in December, the sum total of my leader's advice was "Add four points and read this booklet." (the _Going the Distance_ booklet) She assumed that all of us were familiar with WW's program inside and out, when in fact I for one knew next to nothing about the program. Other than the admonition to make exercise a daily commitment, I got nothing from the booklet. I was frightened out of my tiny mind! I needed guidance now, as I never had before. I knew I could lose weight but I needed to know how to keep it off. I had come to WW because of my inability to maintain a lower weight after I'd already lost it. I mean, sure, continue to stay away from the fried mozzarella sticks, but what else?

Deciding that at this point WW had no good solid advice, I decided to wing it, to listen to my own inner voice about my body, as I always had, just use familiar structures that WW provided, like points and weekly weigh-ins. I didn't add four points. I added two points. I still had a personal goal and four seemed too much. The step down from 22 to 20 points had been traumatic for me. To re-add four points? No. I continued, as I had hoped, to lose each week. I added a point or two each week that I lost because I could feel my body continuing to burn fat. I remained calm on the weeks I knew there was a water retention issue and the scale showed a bump up - and I held the line on points those weeks. As January rolled into February and the scale crept below my personal goal, I began to panic.

Without any other guidance for my panic, I had no choice but to continue to follow this philosophy of managing points, slowly increasing points. A trip through the WW boards taught me I wasn't the first to do this nor was I the only one to feel abandoned after hitting goal. As it turned out, I had also stumbled into what some considered to be the best way to re-add points to end up with the maximum number of points per day. Before I was done, I was up to 32 (1500 - 1700 calories, more or less) points a day.

The weight loss leveled off in April at 128 pounds. Now I bounce between 128 and 130. Lately I've been "bouncing" a bit above 130. I knew all along I was going to have to play with the daily points allowance, that 32 seemed ridiculously high. So with the scale bouncing above 130, I dropped back on points for a few weeks with a sigh. I did indeed lose weight again at a points level that should be about my base metabolic rate, not all the way back down to WW minimum. I seemed to have lost mostly subcutaneous fat. The scale is still bouncing above 130 occasionally. But now I am seeing new muscle definition and loose waistbands in (new) pants (again!) since I increased the cardio portion of my exercise and added in a weekly Pilates class a few months ago. So I am thinking this may indeed be real muscles. And I am thinking of increasing my defined "bounce range", of turning loose of a little bit of WW's fascination with the scale. And I added a weekly Yoga class, starting yesterday.

I continue to journal daily and I'm still using the WW Flexpoints system for simplified calorie counting. I continue to dispose of "crappy" food from my diet in favor of "clean", wholesome, minimally-processed foods. I do allow myself a "treat" from time to time. It's a hallmark of my different mindset to say that my idea of a treat has gone from a 20 oz. full-sugar soda and a full-sized candy bar to a fried scallop and a fried shrimp off of my significant other's plate at a seafood restaurant or a small order of fries that I share with the dog.

I am running again. The arthritis only allows me to run two miles (3 1/3 km) at a time now. Sometimes, when I get a little sad that I've only managed a four mile (4 2/3 km) week (which is my weekly goal - running two miles for two days a week) when I used to run 20-25 mile weeks, I remind myself that four is a bigger number than ZERO! I may try again to stretch that out to three miles per run when the spring and the light return. But I have become able to hike without looking for easy trails or avoiding some places because the terrain is too difficult. In late September, I hiked up South Carolina's second highest mountain, a 2000 foot (600 meter) elevation increase over about 3-4 miles (5-6 km).

I am hoping I'll be able to add something insightful to this forum from time to time. It would only be fair as I've already learned so much from you guys, mostly the all-important thought that I am not alone in this struggle to keep up the "new me".

So, the summary:
High weight: 191 (86.8 kg)
WW start weight: 168 (76.4 kg)
WW goal: 142 (64.5 kg)
Current weight: 128-131 (58 - 59.5 kg)
Height: 5'6"
BMI top/WW goal/current 31/23/21
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Old 11-07-2004, 07:06 AM   #48
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Welcome Catharus! What a great story! You said that you're 'hoping to be able to add something insightful to this forum from time to time' - I think you just did. We're glad you found us and hope you can join in as often as possible.
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Old 11-14-2004, 06:40 PM   #49
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Hi All,

I've really learned a lot reading though the threads here. I gain a lot of re-assurance knowing others have lost weight and have the same fears and same "fat feeling" as I do. Thought it was time for me to put up my story, as much for myself as for others. Sorry, it starts to babble at the end, but I thought I'd leave it in in case others can relate.

I always thought I was heavy as a kid, though I probably wasn't. I just wasn't athletic, always picked last on teams, etc. I preferred to read books, and also didn't get glasses until 6th grade, which might explain my sports difficulties. I remember being 140 pounds my sophmore year of high school, at 5'4". Soon after that, I just.... wasn't hungry. For about a year I ate less. Not a particular diet, but I dropped down to 117 pounds and a size 8. That lasted until I started college, and realized that I was an adult and could eat whatever I wanted. At home, my Mom was always on and off Weight Watchers, and my Dad went to the gym regularly and ate his Oatmeal for breakfast. I left this perfect world of skim milk and egg white omelettes with canadian bacon, and fresh fruit always available, to a world of lucky charms and soft serve icecream. My weight started to cycle: I'd gain weight during the school year, when food was abundant and I was sedentary - a campus 3 blocks long doesn't make for a lot of walking. In the summers I would work 2 jobs, with barely a break in between, and no break at work for a meal so I lived on 2 cheese bagels and a plum every day, every summer for 3 years, and the weight would slip off. I couldn't tell you what I weighed, but I think I was an 8 or 10 going into every school year, and a 10 or 12 by the end. I wasn't really worried about my weight, didn't have a scale, it just sort of happened.

When I left college for "the real world" in 1999 I had that "I am an adult, I can eat what I want" philosophy ingrained. Yes, they taught nutrition and exercise at my college, it was a required freshman class. No, it didn't kick in until last year. 1999-2003 my menu was filled with Banquet Pot Pies, Lunchables, Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch, and Pringles. And a lot of healthier stuff, like bean soup. I hadn't forgotten the good healthy food my parents made for me, it was just outshined by slick pre-packaged foods. We had free pop (soda) at work, and a can of Cherry Coke a day adds up. I was up to 172 pounds (2 pounds under the "obese" rating). Work got rid of the free pop and at my next annual physical I was down to 162. In the summer of 2002 I was single, and dropped a lot of weight; again without thinking about it. I was probably back to a size 12. How did I do it this time? I was no longer dating someone long distance, so I had time for ME on the evenings and weekends. I saw friends, I enjoyed life, didn't go to bars and restaurants as much. Oh, and I instituted a "no eating after 8" rule, because that was when I ate unhealthy snackies.

Then I started another long distance romance, and travelled a lot, and ate good food when we were together, and generally enjoyed life. I moved from Michigan to Massachusetts, and 2 doors down from a Dairy Queen, and started to telecommute. You can see this is a recipe for disaster. I realized that I couldn't keep eating DQ Blizzards 2-3x/week and not moving more than 100 feet/day. I started walking for a half hour on lunch, a mile and a half. Not exactly Extreme Cario, but it got me off my duff. After 3 months I had lost 7 pounds, and realized that I could DO SOMETHING about feeling fat. I tried the "special K challenge" (awful marketing ploy!) and maybe a couple other things, but just felt deprived. My friend Laura had done Weight Watchers on her own (instead of attending meetings) and loved it, and did very well. I finally broke down and got the info from her in December of 2003. I don't think I actually started until February, but I can't find my first journal. When I started working my first outside-the-home job in Massachusetts at the end of February I was at 155 pounds, down 9 from my start. I just wanted to get out of the "overweight" range into a "healthy weight" BMI of 24, which is 140 pounds. I gave away all my old size 8 and 10 clothes that I hadn't worn in 5 years and didn't want to move again. But as I progressed, the goal kept shifting. I made 140, and stuck there for a couple of months, while trying to get down to 134 - according to Weight Watchers that's the max ideal weight for someone 25 years old and 5'4", and I was 25 when I started the journey. I made it in time for my brother's wedding in September, and just days before I officially joined Weight Watchers at work in order to get the info on the new Core Plan. I now weigh 5 pounds less, because in order to earn lifetime status you have to lose at least 5 pounds. I'm 3 weigh-ins into maintenance, and at 6 weeks (if I'm no more than 2 pounds over goal) I'll earn Lifetime status. Surprisingly, at 132 pounds I'm a size 6, both smaller and heavier than I was in high school. Yay muscles!

I've been reading about maintenance since June, when I hit 140. It sounds hard. And scary. I've read "Thin for Life", and have been reading through the Skinny Daily Post archives. Between those, and the forums here, I've learned that Maintenance involves a lot of exercise, and dedication to monitoring your weight, and a regular eating routine, and no rewarding thrill of pounds lost. Sorry to be a sad sack, I'm really a lot more chipper in person & would definitely recommend Weight Watchers to anyone. After a year of it, I don't really want to lift weights and do yoga and use the elliptical anymore. I don't want to track my food. I've put in my time! I've paid my dues! I want to be free to eat whatever! *sigh* I am a little kid who thought it would be great to be a grown up because you could do whatever you want, and am slowly learning that adults have to be responsible too. I want to live a long, healthy life. I enjoy my new found strength and flexibility. I really enjoy feeling sexy, instead of frumpy. Yes, there's still the "phantom fat" that only I see, but really, for me, it goes away when I look in a full length mirror, naked, and see how all that hard work as paid off, how great I look. When I see the truth, instead of the spell my mind casts as I look down at my thighs.

Right now I am testing my limits, seeing where I have leeway, how much can I eat before I gain, how little exercise do I really need? I think my maintenance motivation will come back, that I'll rechannel my competitiveness from the scale to the weights, to bench more, squat more, have more defined triceps. I went to the gym this morning, then showered, and was fascinated and slightly horrified to see my pumped up pecs giving shape and size to my chest, and then my breasts on top of that. "Two part boobies!" I'd say the hours at the gym are working, and hopefully someday that will mean I can eat more than 1500 calories (29 points) a day to maintain. I miss those Dairy Queen Blizzards.

-Amy
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Old 11-14-2004, 07:41 PM   #50
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Hi Amy
Welcome to Maintainers It sounds like you've learned a lot on your journey, but the journey isn't over! Don't worry, you CAN have a small Blizzard (they are one of my weaknesses, too) sometimes, but as you've read and discovered on your own, each choice has a price and a pay-off.

Quote:
I don't really want to lift weights and do yoga and use the elliptical anymore. I don't want to track my food. I've put in my time! I've paid my dues! I want to be free to eat whatever! *sigh* I am a little kid who thought it would be great to be a grown up because you could do whatever you want, and am slowly learning that adults have to be responsible too.
Uh-oh. That's the biggest lesson we all have learned. You have to learn to love the process because you didn't magically become someone else by dropping fat

Quote:
I want to live a long, healthy life. I enjoy my new found strength and flexibility. I really enjoy feeling sexy, instead of frumpy.
Good! You KNOW how- you got strong by using your body and that's how you'll keep it strong, healthy and sexy

Glad to see you here.

Mel
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Old 11-15-2004, 02:26 PM   #51
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Default By way of introduction!

Hi all. Iíve been reading all of the Maintainers threads since Day One, but I usually post over at Ladies Who Lift. Lately, however, Iíve been bedeviled by maintenance issues so I thought Iíd hang my hat over here for awhile.

My name is Robin, but since there are a number of Robins, I often use my sign-on name, Airegrrl. My husband and I have only furkids -- Airedale terriers -- hence the name.

Like many of you, Iíve battled my weight for most of my life. Up down; up down; up down. Chubby as a child, chunky as a teen and a yo-yo as a college student (in more ways than one) . Although I was convinced that I was obese in high school, I was stunned not too long ago to look at some old pictures and discover that while I was no Twiggy, neither was I obese. Yet another example of poor body image.

It was after college that I began to encounter the worst of my problems, which should have come as no surprise seeing as how I was living on cigarettes, coffee and junk food. Fast forward to my 30s when, post-divorce, I packed on 50 extra pounds and began a vicious cycle of losing and regaining those same pounds over and over again.

The ensuing 25 years (Iím 56 now) brought about a number of changes: ditched the cigarettes and husband No. 1. Remarried, this time to a wonderful fellow. And, thanks to WW, finally lost the 50 pounds, although I continued to swing up and down by 12-15 pounds annually.

Iím no athlete, but Iíve lifted weights off and on for nearly 30 years. However, it wasnít until I discovered 3FC 15 months ago that I realized I was lifting about as ineffectively as possible. Sigh. Too many light weights, no real training schedule, thus not much progress. Iíve learned a lot at LWL, which has been a source of inspiration, comfort, motivation and giggles. My progress, however, has been impeded by a series of injuries, aches and pains, brought about by age, fibromyalgia, arthritis and sciatica. As a high-energy, fast-moving humanoid, I find these conditions perplexing, confounding and irritating, but I canít seem to find a strategy to effectively cope with them. I *have* taken up yoga, which has been a real discovery. It makes me feel good; it makes me feel balanced; and it makes me wonderfully aware of the unity of body, mind and spirit. I hope to be practicing for many years to come.

When I was tipping the scales at 185, I believed that all would be right in my world if I weighed 140-142. Well, thatís what I usually weigh these days, and all is not right. First off, my weight is oozing up again, and Iím not very fit and Iím not very strong. Although Iíve (blessedly) learned to eat clean Ė and manage to do so a fair amount of the time, which is why my weight is oozing up instead of skyrocketing Ė I just donít have this maintenance thing totally wired yet. Very annoying, given the time Iíve had in which to practice. As Meg said in one of her typically clairvoyant posts: Losing weight changes your body, not your head. I still have head work. A lot of head work.

So, here I am. Itís a pleasure to meet those of you I havenít met before, and to see so many familiar faces. Let the good times roll!

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Old 11-15-2004, 02:43 PM   #52
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ROBIN!!!! I've been wondering where you've been hiding. Welcome back!

Quote:
My progress, however, has been impeded by a series of injuries, aches and pains, brought about by age, fibromyalgia, arthritis and sciatica. As a high-energy, fast-moving humanoid, I find these conditions perplexing, confounding and irritating, but I canít seem to find a strategy to effectively cope with them.
Oh I feel for you! As a similarly challenged humanoid, all I can come up with is that you just have to keep coping. Use whatever parts work on any given day, and be grateful for those days when they all seem to work together

Mel
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Old 11-15-2004, 05:21 PM   #53
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You know, it's funny Mel. I find these assorted aches and pains downright infuriating. I find myself getting mad at them because they keep me from doing the things I need to do to maintain my weight. And then, I must also admit that I'm going through what Amy's describing: I've put in my time; I've paid my dues. I don't wanna fight it any more. These two things together are making me nuts. But let's face it: it's life. Ya gotta play the cards you're dealt. And all in all, I must say that I am extremely fortunate, and there's no sense in feeling sorry for myself. So, onward and upward.
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Old 11-16-2004, 05:19 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airegrrrl
I must also admit that I'm going through what Amy's describing: I've put in my time; I've paid my dues. I don't wanna fight it any more. These two things together are making me nuts. But let's face it: it's life. Ya gotta play the cards you're dealt. And all in all, I must say that I am extremely fortunate, and there's no sense in feeling sorry for myself. So, onward and upward.
Ohhh yeahhhh ... don't we all feel that way? But you're right - what's the alternative, after all? Robin, old friend, it's wonderful to have you join us here in Maintainers. You've been missed around here.

Welcome, Amy! What a great story! Yay, muscles indeed! - I agree on shifting the focus from scale numbers (since those aren't really going to change any longer) to gym numbers and achievements. For me, being in the gym every day keeps me in touch with WHY I'm working hard to maintain my weight: energy, feeling strong, and having a body that works (most of the time )! Isn't it such an amazing thing to be working WITH our bodies instead of feeling like they're the enemy? We're glad you're here - jump in and post away!
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Old 11-21-2004, 11:55 AM   #55
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Default new to maintaining

I've been reading posts here since before I reached my goal and decided to finally introduce myself.

As a teenager, I was considered painfully thin at 5'7" and 113 pounds. I ate non-stop, and never gained an ounce. Going back and counting now, I'd have to guess that I packed away at least 4-5000 calories a day, eating 6 square meals a day and snacking regularly. I must have had some supercharged metabolism then! ( wonder where it went?!)

I married early, right out of high school and started my family within a couple of years. I gained little with my first daughter and quickly dropped to somewhere below 120. It was my 2nd pregancy that got me. I gained a lot of weight when I was pregnant with my 2nd daughter at the age of 20 and I've been yo-yo-ing up and down but mostly up ever since.

Two times before, I've managed to reach my WW lifetime goal weight of 140 but each time, I fell back into old habits and all my losses came back and brought friends!

This time around at the age of 44, I'm determined that I will stay at a healthy weight from now on. I've only been maintaining a month or so and I'm still losing a little but much slower than before. I'm struggling with how to stabilize my weight and still keep up my brand new, healthy life style.

For the first time in my life, I am exercising regularly. (my idea of exercise used to be a good brisk sit!) I'm eating healthier with a happy balance of 'good' carbs and proteins. I have no problem eating all of my fruits and veggies every day (there used to be lots of days where I didn't eat any, unless you count french fries, or the toppings on my burger!). I drink lots of water (never did that before, i used to mainline coffee ) I never eat fast food (I used to live on drive-thru). I've gone from a tight size 18 down to a comfortable size 8 and even my old shoes are too big. And I've got to get to a jewelry store before I lose my rings!

Because of all the exercise I guess, I'm a full size smaller than I was a few years ago when I weighed the same and people are starting to look at me and say things like: "Hey, you're looking really good, but I sure hope you're finished losing weight. Anymore and you'll be too thin". So I'm lurking on this forum, still trying to figure out this maintenance thing, hopefully before I lose much more weight.
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Maintaining since November, 2004! Third time is the charm

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Old 11-21-2004, 12:21 PM   #56
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ROFL
Quote:
my idea of exercise used to be a good brisk sit!
That had me laughing out loud. That used to be my idea of exercise as well. Congratulations on reaching your goal!
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start 239/current 134.4/WW goal 136/Personal goal 125ish?
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Old 11-21-2004, 03:01 PM   #57
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I loved the "brisk sit", too

Welcome, Barb. Don't lurk, join on in! It must have been tough going from super-metabolism to "normal". Congratulations on your journey and lookin' good!

Mel
__________________
Falling down is not failure....Failure is staying down.
Save the Earth, it's the only planet with chocolate and wine.

It isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...
It's about learning to dance in the rain.

9 years at or under goal weight! Working Maintenance Everyday
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Old 11-21-2004, 03:13 PM   #58
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Welcome, Barb! Another 'brisk sitter' here! Stick around with us - we're all trying to figure out this maintenance thing together.

BTW, can you tell us about your user name? Do you really talk to flowers?
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Old 11-27-2004, 10:55 PM   #59
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Red face What a great group of losers -- Can I join?

Hi -- here's my brief story. I've always been active and liked to eat "healthy, " but like many I had little idea of the nutritional or calorie content of food. I figured as long as it was home cooked and included natural ingredients, I would stay at a healthy weight. Before losing weight, I spent a lot of time preparing exotic meals. I loved to bake, and never met a stick of butter that I didn't like. After 15 years of marriage my weight had slowly crept up. I'm 5'2", and I was starting to look pretty jolly at 130.

My husband is in the reserves and was deployed to Kuwait. Due to a combination of worry and just learning how to live alone, I unintentionally lost 20 lbs. I liked the result, but didn't really lose the weight in the best way. I often just did not eat or would subsist on mocha lattes. I realized that this would not be sustainable when my husband returned, and I worried that I had really slowed down my metabolism. My hubby got back safe and sound in January '04. Since then I have struggled to keep my weight at its new level and to learn about maintenance.

This site is a godsend. There is so little information on maintaining weight loss. Two lessons I have learned: (1) I cannot just have one big cheat meal. My body thinks I am "refeeding," and gears up for days of overindulgence. After a meal where I overdo it, I will be ravenously hungry for the next 2 to 3 days; (2) balancing my carbs, fat, and protein in the Zone fashion keep the hungries at bay and lets me eat a pretty big volume of food. I've been working with the Zone plan the last four months and have felt much less deprived and had better energy.

Maintaining is hard. I look forward to learning from all of you and to helping others in the future!
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Old 11-28-2004, 06:19 AM   #60
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Welcome, Laura Leigh! We're glad you found us here! We're all figuring out maintenance together so look forward to your input too.

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Originally Posted by Laura Leigh
I cannot just have one big cheat meal. My body thinks I am "refeeding," and gears up for days of overindulgence. After a meal where I overdo it, I will be ravenously hungry for the next 2 to 3 days
That hunger over the next few days happens to me too! That's a great way to describe the problem (for some of us) with cheat meals and one of the reasons I do a lot better in my little day-in, day-out rut.

Good to hear the Zone plan has been working so well for you! I met Barry Sears last month and was very impressed with his research and thoughts on dieting. Fascinating guy and super-smart. I was surprised to discover that I've been pretty much eating the Zone way without even realizing it. He has a new Zone book - The Anti-Inflammation Zone - coming out on January 1 that I plan to read and you might be interested in.

Jump into posting and feel free to start a thread on anything that you've been wondering about or that interests you. We're all looking forward to getting to know you.
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Start: 257 - June 1, 2001
Goal: 135 - May 12, 2002
Size 22/size 4
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