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Old 11-15-2003, 08:28 PM   #1
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Old 11-16-2003, 11:07 AM   #2
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Hey there! MrsJim (my husband calls me "Karen" ) here...

What a cool idea this is Meg!

I think most of you pretty much know my story - I'm one of four girls (the middle one!) and the only one with a 'weight problem' - definitely the black sheep of the family...Dad (who went to medical school at UNC - Chapel Hill but decided to pursue chemistry as his life avocation) and Mom were concerned about me to put me on a diet at the tender age of 7 - something I would never advocate nowadays. I tried a ton of diet programs and at the age of 11 had read just about every diet book in our town library...but also became a sneak-eater, a binge eater, etc. Anyway, I reached my high weight in 1990 of 265 pounds before I decided that was IT for me - it was time for me to make some lifestyle changes. At one point around 1988 or so, I tried to go the Fat Acceptance/Big is Beautiful route...

At that time, I was at a point where I just said "screw it. This is too HARD to try and lose weight. I'm just going to accept myself as a fat person". I read all the literature, the BBW and Radiance magazines, shoot, I even joined NAAFA for a year or two. In fact...my first real exposure to exercise as enjoyment came from a book titled "Great Shape" written by a nurse at Kaiser-Permanente who was (and I presume is) a large woman herself, who lives in the Bay Area. She had a one-day "large woman's movement seminar" that I attended. It wasn't sweaty aerobics as I recall (this was almost 15 years ago remember) - it was just movement, dance-style steps, getting into the music and all that. From there, I started walking - and at first I could barely walk around the BLOCK without going out of breath - let alone climb a flight of stairs without resting.

In doing a lot of journaling to "find myself" I came to the conclusion that I did NOT want to spend the rest of my life being fat, and that this Fat Acceptance/Big is Beautiful idea that I was taking comfort in (and using as an excuse to eat whatever and however much I wanted...a lot of fat people will say they don't eat that much or didn't eat much...but trust me, I ate a LOT...I could go through 1/2 gallon of Mocha Almond Fudge icecream without even realizing it...followed up with half a large pizza...) was actually holding me back. Bottom line was I realized that however much I was trying to buy in to that Big is Beautiful line, I desperately DID NOT WANT TO BE FAT. But when you weigh over 250 pounds...it felt to me as though someone gave me a plastic spoon and instructed me to remove a mountain with it. Fortunately I heard about the Stanford research study on weight maintenance. Thank GOD I got accepted...I lost 90 pounds during the course of the study which started in May 1990 and lasted 18 months and have been on a downward trend (with some tiny ups) ever since...at this point I fit comfortably into a size 6 (last year I was on a pre-comp diet and got into a size 4 which is the lowest I've ever been - I think at this point a six is more 'natural' for me and I'm cool w/it).

One thing I have always tried to impart in my time at 3FC is this:

Losing fat permanently IS difficult but YES IT CAN BE DONE

and

Maintenance isn't as glamourous as the losing stage - it's tough in the beginning but it gets easier as time goes on (trust me!)

And speaking of that, it's time for me to do my Sunday AM cardio...
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Highest weight: 265 pounds, size 24/26 (May 1990)
May 1991: 174 pounds (-91 lbs)
September 1996: 155 pounds (-110 lbs)
*LIVING at: 145-149 pounds, size 4/6 (-116/120 lbs)

*Maintenance = LIVING.
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Wanna know how I lost the weight and have kept it off for over 16 years? Click here!
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Old 11-16-2003, 09:31 PM   #3
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I'd like to join this party if I may. Briefly, in the year 2000 I lost over 45 lbs. using the Richard Simmons program of healthy eating and exercise. This was at the age of 74.

Now I am 77, I dropped an additional 10 lbs. earlier this year by controlling my carb intake a little more carefully. That is I am concentrating on the 'good carbs' such as whole wheat bread, lots of veggies, etc.

I was overweight simply because I got too busy doing other things and failed to pay attention to what I ate.

I am finding maintenance difficult since old habits die hard. But it is nice to be a smaller size, to be able to do more things, to be able to shop in the ladies department rather than the XXX size stuff. And above all things I do not want to regain any of the weight I have lost.

I have just recently joined Curves for Women, and am enjoying it.

I am glad a forum for maintenance has been started. And I hope that many will be able to participate in it.
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Old 01-17-2004, 11:13 PM   #4
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Thumbs down Three Years, three months...

In October 2000 a friend and I decided to join weight watchers at work together. The leader set my goal at 131. I didn't think I'd EVER get that low. By September 2001 my dearest DH and I had modified our diet to more closely match Dr. Willett's recommendation (but we didn't know it at the time), and it is working for us. In December 2001 I weighed 145 pounds - down 31 pounds total. In December 2002 I weighed 134. I'm not the Fastest Loser.

I'm 58 years old with neuropathy...manifested by pain in my legs and a bit of a balance problem. The neurologist said that I have muscle atrophy and I should Exercise. Okay, Doc - Will Do! We were walking 30 or so minutes every day and in December 2003 decided we'd start training for a 5K race. With the information from Ian MacNeill's book we developed a plan. Today we ran our first 5K race.

Next on the agenda is to join the health club near our house. I miss the Elliptical Torture Machine (My Bestest Friend) and I'd like to work on upper body strength. And maybe swim lessons this year.

Dearest DH developed a web site for us... http://www.tig-goph.com/ Weight Loss shows our before and now pictures. Fitness and Exercise describes our running plan and has a picture following the 5K.

I'm not quite at Maintenance - as slow as I am at losing, I may be a Maintenance wannabe for a while. I'll just hang around and practice, if that's okay.
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Old 01-18-2004, 10:13 AM   #5
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oh my goodness!!! you are FABULOUS!!!! by doing the 5 K race while suffering from neuropathy, you've officialoly moved into IDOL category for me!!!!
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Keeping it off is a hundred decisions a day that help you maintain what you achieved. And that's the hard part. - L Sanders

start: 506 [Sept 2001]
weight at gastric bypass [Jan 29, 2002]: 409
current weight: 225
weight for plastic surgery: 200
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Old 01-18-2004, 04:31 PM   #6
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Jif, you really made my day! Thanks for the encouragement!
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Old 01-24-2004, 08:52 PM   #7
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Wow, what great success stories!

I started my weightloss journey much the same. My mother had me on the early form of Atkins when I was 9! I can't remember a time in my life that I wasn't starting a diet. By the time I graduated high school in 1987 I weighed 200-210 and wore an 18-20. I quickly lost about 30 pounds after high school since I was trying to go in the Air Force. Of course I did it by almost near starvation and running 3 miles a day. I got down to 170 and found out I had to be at least 160 to go in the Air Force and still would have to wait 6 months to get the job I wanted. I gave up. I moved back home with mom and started eating once again.
Over the years I went to college and got more and more depressed so naturally, I ate more and more. I got married in October 1996 to a Marine who didn't really care that I weighed 285 pounds. I did okay for a while then he retired and we moved to Florida. I knew no one and was 3000 miles from family. I conitinued to yo-yo diet and gain weight. In August of 2000 I went to the doctor and the scale couldn't weigh me. I was well over 350! I said, "THAT'S IT!!!" I saw my doctor and asked for a referral for gastric bypass surgery.
In December 2000, I weighed in at 394. I had surgery in January 2001 and I know I was at least 400 having gone through the holidays and knowing I was never going to be able to eat a whole tub of ice cream again!! I ate like never before.
I had lost about 70 pounds by July 2001. On July 7, 2001, I lost my husband (who was only 42) to a massive, unexpected heart attack. We had been married almost 5 years.
Needless to say my weight loss stalled for a few months because I took up drinking. I finally snapped out of it after a couple of months and started losing again. By the time I moved to Missouri in July 2002, to be closer to one of my sisters, I was down to 200 and was wearing a 16-18.
In September of that year I started dating my new husband. We married in May of 2003. After about 5 months, I quit working. His schedule kept changing and I was tired of finding new jobs to accomodate.
Well, I am home alone and eating. I have gained over the past months about 20 pounds. I am not a happy camper I will say. I want to weigh around 170.

I have decided to join WW to get some structure back into my eating and to get some fellowship with other dieters. I am too isolated here at home and need to find ways to get out. I have also started selling Avon and my husband and I will also be starting a new home business based around cats. We have four!! I am also trying to keep myself motivated to exercise at least three to four days a week. I know I can reach my goal. It is not unreasonable.

One problem though, is I am also trying to get pregnant!! Hope that happens soon. I can still watch what I eat so I don't gain too much.

Thanks for listening,
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In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul. Psalm 94:19

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Old 01-24-2004, 08:53 PM   #8
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Oh and Meg, thanks for inviting me!
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In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul. Psalm 94:19

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Old 01-25-2004, 01:54 AM   #9
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Oh, and Meg, yes my name really is Candy
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In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul. Psalm 94:19

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Old 01-25-2004, 07:32 AM   #10
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Hi Candy!

I'm so glad you've joined us here at Maintainers and congratulations on your awesome weight loss. You're doing the right thing by facing your little bit of weight gain now before it gets out of hand. It's a heck of a lot easier to deal with twenty pounds than 50 or 100! Post a lot and let us know what issues you need help with -- there's always someone here with a good answer or idea. And be sure to share all the things that you've learned as you lost almost 200 pounds -- wow!!!
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Old 02-11-2004, 05:10 PM   #11
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Hello ladies! Such great inspirational stories, and those who have posted pics, wow!

I've been chubby since I was 8 or so; at least that's when I can remember being teased at school I was never inclined to be athletic, and when no one picks you for their team, it's worse! I grew up with a very bad self-image, though I was not extremely overweight. About size 14 in high school, but all my friends were the Skinny Minnies Got married very young (18!) and am still married to the same guy

I knew what healthy eating was, but I just loved to eat good food, and to cook/bake; and no exercise. Had tried lots of fad diets (anyone my age remember the Scarsdale diet?), but could only stick to it for a couple of weeks.

Gradually gained a few more pounds each year; had two boys; hard to get the pregnancy gains off! In Feb. of 2001 I was at 176, tired, no energy, sick of hating how I looked/felt; and looked on the Internet for help. Found this site, and hooked up with the "Doin' It The Old Fashioned Way" thread, as counting calories and exercising sounded like what I needed to do . Through the support and friendship there, by late summer of 2002 I gradually got down to 142 pounds (my lowest) and a size 6.

However, I have regained a few pounds, due to *ahem* eating like I used to!! I kept up the exercising, but the eating was way out of line. So, I would like to get back down to at least 142, but keep my mind open to gaining more muscle, and losing more bodyfat.

I do videotapes for my exercise, and definitely prefer to work with free weights than do cardio, but I realize cardio is also key to losing fat. When it's better weather outside, I do like to walk. Otherwise, my cardio is aerobic tapes.

For me, weight and eating and exercise are all control issues...when I am doing well, I know I am in control of that situation, and it feels good.

My BIG motivation was to get in shape enough to feel I could learn to ride a motorcycle...which I did! And the motivation to keep going was that I wanted to buy black leathers, and look good in them

The other motivations are that it just feel so good to NOT be so self-conscious anymore; to be able to pick out clothes happily; to not dread social functions. For the first time in my life, I don't dislike (almost hate) myself. And that feels good, because when I didn't like myself, it was hard for me to be happy with the world. I have much more confidence in myself that I ever thought I could have.

SO, I don't quite fit the "maintaining" mode yet, but would like to join you here when I do!

Holly
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Old 04-13-2004, 10:06 AM   #12
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Hello my name is Julie and I am also from Vermont . I have been overweight all my life. Even when i was little i felt the effects of being overweight. Always the last one picked, many adults are not nice to overweight children and I alway felt I had to try harder just to have anyone like me. 85 % of my family is overweight. I reached my heaviest weight in January 2003 of somewhere around 340 lbs. I could not even weigh in on any scales I could find in the stores. I had been losing weight for a month before I could weigh in and when I did I was 335 lbs so I know I was at least 340 lbs or higher.
I have never put myself first. I am always the one to give up what I want to make things easier for someone else. In January 2003 my mom who is diabetic found her glucose levels over 350 decided that she needed to get control over it before she ended up on insulin. She was 235 lbs at that time.
She went to her doctor and they talked about the difference between a good carb and a bad carb and how to make some changes in her diet. She needed someone to do it with her to help her stay on program so I did it too. We started walking at the mall and I could not even do one lap which is 1/3 of a mile without being in pain but I kept working at it. That was last January and we havent quit.
My moms glucose levels are normal and she weighs 145 lbs and I am off high blood pressure meds and at 176. The way we eat is a way that we can do forever and we just joined the gym in february to get into the toning exercise and weights. I hope I didnt bore anyone!
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Old 05-14-2004, 02:22 PM   #13
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Hey there! I know several of you already, but here's my story.

I was a relatively small, relatively athletic kid with 3 brothers that I always felt that I needed to keep up with. Somewhere along the line, that changed. My old-fashioned parents, with entirely good intentions, pushed me into more 'girly' stuff. I got told frequently by my brothers that I was fat and ugly. I discovered boys.

At my lowest weight of 130, I was exisisting mainly on cigarettes and wine coolers. I got older, made some bad choices that resulted in bad feelings. I got hurt. I went through 3 years of a soap opera and came out of it weighing almost 170 pounds.

After that, I tried every 'easy' thing I could come up with to lose weight. I took xenedrine, xenical, diet fuel, stacker, stacker 2, ate cabbage soup for weeks, stayed under 800 calories a day for months. I'd lose 20 pounds and gain back 30. When I hit 200 pounds, I had a meltdown. I was miserable and desperate. I was so disgusted with myself that I would throw up every time I ate (no finger down the throat necessary). To try and stop that, I started taking lots of laxatives. If I believed that I wasn't really going to digest the food, then I wouldn't get sick.

Happily, my DH found the pills within a couple of weeks and talked some sense into me. I spent the next couple of months learning what I could about nutrition and decided to try the Atkins plan. Now it's 10 months later and I've lost almost 70 pounds. I'm at 133 right now and think I would like to get to 120.

It's not so much about the weight anymore. It's more about wanting to be strong and toned. I've discovered that I love to move, so my exercise consists of pilates, biking, rollerblading, bellydancing, dancing at clubs, and walking with my little chihuahuas. It doesn't feel like work, it just feels like life.

And I think that's the biggest thing I've learned: when it feels like life, you're doing it right.
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Old 07-16-2004, 04:44 PM   #14
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I was not fat until puberty, though I was never a skinny child. When puberty hit, I gained about 10 pounds a year until I hit my highest weight as a freshman in college. I was constantly trying to lose weight from about age 15 on, mostly by starving myself, eating one meal a day at dinner. In between successful times of weight loss, I'd binge on everything at the house where I babysat after school every day, also spending my own money on lots of chocolate. I hated myself, felt huge, never had a date, and was miserable all the time.

In college and later, I either lost weight by exercising (walking, swimming, and later aerobics and weight training) and cutting down on portions, or by starving myself. I was never, ever able to follow a true "diet" for more than three days. I still had a major starving/bingeing problem until I got married and got some counseling for my self esteem problems. Thankfully, it's been probably 10 years since I truly binged. I still overeat occasionally, but never have that horribly uncontrollable urge to drive to Dunkin' Donuts, buy a dozen donuts, and eat half of every single one until I feel overfull and sick.

These days, I belong to TOPS and write down every bit of food that goes into my mouth on a food sheet. I do step aerobics every morning and try to walk at least 10,000 steps a day, not counting the steps taken during aerobics. I despise exercise, but like how it makes me feel and look. Someday I'd like to join a gym again and lift weights again, but right now my kids are just too young for me to exercise away from home, not to mention the time constraint of working full time with two small kids. As it is, I have to get up at 5:30am to have time to exercise.

Right now I'm the thinnest I've ever been, and I worry that I'll gain the weight back. I've maintained about 30 pounds of my weight loss since I was 19 (20 years now), but always struggle with that final 15-20 pounds. I'm hoping this is "it" and sometimes I feel that it is. I worry though about living for the rest of my life not being able to eat like the rest of my family and friends (who are either naturally skinny and eat like horses or are overweight but aren't trying to lose it so also eat like horses).
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Old 07-22-2004, 02:59 AM   #15
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Hello!

I can't tell you all how excited I am to have found this site! I've had a lot of trouble finding somewhere for maintainers to talk about how they're maintaining - finding this place is such a relief.

My story:
I didn't realise I was overweight until my Mum told me I was getting a bit big when I was 9/10, and started me on schemes to lose weight. I know she was doing what she felt was best (and don't' hold it against her), but it started me on an obssession with my weight, that as I'm sure you've all experienced, is very difficult to get past.
I'd done the yo yo thing for years, and pretty much given up. I was the weight I was - like it or lump it. But then, at the ripe old age of 26 I started having some health problems that were the result of being overweight. Scared the **** out of me. I really saw how being fat could shorten my life. So, I decided it was time to do something about it. In truth I'd been working up to it for a little while mentally, the health scare was what spurred me into action.
I joined Weight Watchers in September 2001 at 241 pounds, and lost 89 pounds to reach goal in June 2003. In truth, I think this weight is a bit low for me and am happier about 4-6 pounds heavier than that.

Maintaining has been more of challenge for me than losing the weight was!! I felt a bit lost without a goal to work towards any more. My weight has fluctuated a bit, but learning that that is normal and healthy has been a big lesson. As long as you nip it in the bud before it goes too far it's OK. "Skinny" people's weight fluctuates too, within reason.

Anyway, even though a challenge, I was maintaining fairly well until the last couple of months. I've started noticing the old eating patterns creeping back in, and I'm now 11 pounds over where I'm comfortable. But I'm finding it very difficult to halt the creep. The main problem is my eating. One thing I haven't stopped, and never will again, is exercise. I'm determined to never lose that habit.

I really don't want to go back to Weight Watchers. I know how to lose weight healthily. I want to get to what is triggering these eating patterns coming back - the emotional and mental stuff.

Either way, reading the posts I have so far here, have started putting me back in the headspace I need. I was concentrating on what I couldn't have if I wanted to stay slim and thinking how unfair it was I couldn't eat as much of them as I wanted. I wasn't concentrating on why I couldn't - because they're bad for my health. When I think about what they do to my body, they really don't seem so appealing!

So, I'm looking forward to losing the 11 pounds and getting back to figuring out how to maintain more effectively. I'm also looking forward to getting to know you all and learning how you all do it day by day
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