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I'm new, 20 lbs from goal, any advice?

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Old 11-29-2007, 10:51 PM   #1
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Default I'm new, 20 lbs from goal, any advice?

Hello,

I'm new to this website and to on-line chat rooms in general. i'm 28 and about 20lbs from goal. I'm 5'9" and weigh 165, would like to be 140.

I've battled my weight since I was a child; after my father passed when I was 7 I turned to food to cope. I had a number of medical issues at that time as well, and food helped me cope with that as well. My sister is gorgeous, tall (6'0") and a model; while I was always the "cute" one, it sucked being compared to her all my life (no little girl wants to be "smart" they want to be models...)

SO... here I am... I have been able to get my weight down to 155 but I always seem to get stuck there. I wouldn't call myself fat now, but I am just not happy with where I am and know I can look and feel better.

My biggest problems are
1. Night time - after dinner eating... I come home, exhausted after a long day at the office, eat a reasonable dinner, and then snack the rest of the night. Sure, one yogurt, skinny cow, bowl of oatmeal, apple, etc. after dinner won't hurt, but the problem is I don't have just one.. I have one of each! I eat primarily healthy food... just a LOT Of it.
2. Drinking - being 28, single, living in the city, my life is filled with events involving drinking. Last month I tried to limit my drinking and I felt like a complete hermit... it's just about all that my friends do on the weekends, so unless I want to either find all new friends (not an option) or stay in all weekend (also not an option b/c I just snack then anyway!) I need to find a way to manage drinking. I call it the quadruple threat: 1. calories from alcohol, 2. drunk snacking, 3. hangover greasy food cravings, 4. not working out the next day.

I have a personal trainer 2 mornings a week and he gives me a lot of nutrition advice, but I just don't always follow it (or I follow it until 7pm!)

I guess I'm just really looking for a few buddies to help me. My other friends who "diet" all tell me it's ok to cheat and actually encourage me to drink, eat cookies, or "relax, it's vacation!" Anyone out there interested in being my weight loss buddy? I promise, I can be good motivation too!

On a side note... did anyone catch Oprah this week? I tivo-d it... unbelievable and SO motivating! I signed up for The Best Life challenge already!!!
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Old 11-30-2007, 01:16 AM   #2
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Hey good luck with your weight loss Here are my suggestions!

1. After dinner snacking - since you have trouble stopping at night, I would advise cold turkey. After a certain hour, brush your teeth, floss and declare the kitchen closed. Budget calories for a single after dinner snack (something really filling like a baked apple with blueberries) and then STAY BUSY. Come post here, call your mom, write a letter, take a bath, shave your legs, organize a closet, join a book club - get away from the kitchen.

2. Booze. My suggestion - quit completely while you are losing weight for the 4 reasons you listed and think carefully about how you plan to re-introduce it to your life when you reach your goal life and have to work on maintenance for the rest of your life. For the 9 months I was actively losing weight, I had 1 glass of wine at my birthday and 1 glass of champagne for New Year's. Now that I'm maintaining, I have the occasional glass of red wine, but I just don't have room for all those empty calories in my life.

I guess I'm not very understanding because I can't imagine a social life that revolves around drinking and I wouldn't want to hang around with people that didn't understand I was prioritizing weight loss over booze. If you MUST drink socially, try to alternate alcoholic drinks with selzer with lime or try wine spritzers or other lower calorie alternatives.

Your friends who encourage you to cheat, drink and eat cookies aren't helping your weight loss efforts at all - consistency is key.
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Old 11-30-2007, 07:10 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by rdye23 View Post
Hello,

need to find a way to manage drinking. I call it the quadruple threat: 1. calories from alcohol, 2. drunk snacking, 3. hangover greasy food cravings, 4. not working out the next day.
Boy do I hear ya! I have the same issue. I tracked my calories from alchohol over 6 weeks to see what I was averaging (and believe me, it was bad). So I allocated a "weekly alcohol calorie budget." I write down everything I drink on a marker board near the fridge, with the calories next to it. When I reach the limit, I'm done for that week. So in order to stay within the "budget", I've been sticking to wine or light beer, and not drinking on week days.

I've been able to stick with it for a couple of months, and I actually lost about 4 pounds doing that, but now what I'm noticing is that I'm eating more (to compensate? not sure), and the pounds are creeping back on.....
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Old 11-30-2007, 07:17 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by rdye23 View Post

My biggest problems are
1. Night time - after dinner eating... I come home, exhausted after a long day at the office, eat a reasonable dinner, and then snack the rest of the night. Sure, one yogurt, skinny cow, bowl of oatmeal, apple, etc. after dinner won't hurt, but the problem is I don't have just one.. I have one of each! I eat primarily healthy food... just a LOT Of it.
2. Drinking - being 28, single, living in the city, my life is filled with events involving drinking. Last month I tried to limit my drinking and I felt like a complete hermit... it's just about all that my friends do on the weekends, so unless I want to either find all new friends (not an option) or stay in all weekend (also not an option b/c I just snack then anyway!) I need to find a way to manage drinking. I call it the quadruple threat: 1. calories from alcohol, 2. drunk snacking, 3. hangover greasy food cravings, 4. not working out the next day.
First of all ! It's great to want to be healthier!


1. Night time snacking: Look at the rest of your day. Are you getting enough food for breakfast, lunch & dinner? If you aren't eating well the rest of the day that can sometimes catch up to us, so that's the first thing to look at. Next, if you ARE eating well the rest of the day and it's just the snacking... What are you doing while snacking? Watching TV? Are you just bored? I agree that it's okay to plan ahead with one snack for the evening. "Tonight at 8:00 I will have one apple." I also agree that keeping busy is key, or all you'll be thinking about is how you aren't eating... and that's just not productive. Drink your water, too!!! You may think you're hungry when you might just be a little thirsty.


2. Social drinking: Okay... do you have the type of friends who would be willing to do anything OTHER than drink? If not, or if you don't want to give up that scene, then you MUST limit your drinking, because not only is it unhealthy to drink frequently until you're hungover the next day, but you'll pack in more calories in that one night than you may over several days! So.
- Number one, drink sllllooooooowwwwwllyyy. Take your time finishing that one drink. Sip. If you take a long time to finish a drink, less time to drink more later
- Number two, drink waters in between drinks to keep you hydrated... ( and actually this helps prevent hangovers, because as we all know a hangover is actually the headache that you get from being dehydrated from alcohol. And THEREFORE be more likely to get up, get over the night before and get right back into an exercise routine.)
- Number three, practice saying "NO, THANK YOU I'm fine with what I have." to people who push alcohol on you.
- Number four, the non-alcoholic option. Seltzer with limes. A dark glass to hide what you're drinking. Heck... root beer. Sometimes if you look like you're drinking something, your friends will leave you alone. Then just pretend like you have a huge hangover the next day if it makes you feel better.

I hope that helps some, but I must say that sabotaging friends are no fun for anyone. They are not looking out for your best interest. And you might, sadly, find that as you're becoming a healthier person they are less and less the type of people you want to be surrounded by...

Best of luck! You can make your health your top priority!

Last, though...
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(no little girl wants to be "smart" they want to be models...)
I've always been thrilled to be the smart girl.
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Last edited by Lovely : 11-30-2007 at 07:18 AM.
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Old 11-30-2007, 07:19 AM   #5
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Hey rdye23,

When I was a little girl, I didn't want to become a model.

First, I'd like to point out that 155 and 140 are both within the range of "normal" weight on the BMI scale--which might explain why it's harder for you to lose when you get to 155.

Second, I have problems with evening snacking also. I don't have any quick solution to that, but I have a few strategies that might help. (1) Eat enough dinner. It could be that your evening meal is too light to carry you through, in which case you might increase your dinner cals (assuming you track calories). Also, increasing your protein amount at dinner might help. (2) Allow yourself ONE healthy snack if you just HAVE to have something. This will take will power, but having lost weight so far, you probably can do that. (3) Drink water, decaf tea, decaf sodas--liquids that can help you feel full. This can help curb the urge to eat.

Third, about the drinking. It sounds like you and your friends drink to excess on the weekends, since you talk about the hangovers. I did the same thing at your age, but I now know that it's not necessary to drink to excess to have a good time. There is nothing wrong with ordering a soda at a bar. Club soda with lime is a very good drink. If you want to have a drink or two, have a drink or two, period, and space them out with soda in between. If your friends pressure you to drink to excess, you need to think about what that means. Same goes for any other drug.

And finally, those who cheat are only cheating themselves. A reasonable weight loss plan doesn't make any food totally off limits--but it does restrict foods in some way. That just has to happen!

Good luck with your goals!

Jay
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Old 11-30-2007, 08:33 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by jellydisney View Post
Boy do I hear ya! I have the same issue. I tracked my calories from alchohol over 6 weeks to see what I was averaging (and believe me, it was bad). So I allocated a "weekly alcohol calorie budget." I write down everything I drink on a marker board near the fridge, with the calories next to it. When I reach the limit, I'm done for that week. So in order to stay within the "budget", I've been sticking to wine or light beer, and not drinking on week days.
I'm mostly a lurker myself, but I wanted to thank you for this! This is a fabulous idea for myself as well and I'm going to work to implement it. I always say, my diet is excellent besides the beer
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Old 11-30-2007, 10:22 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jellydisney View Post
Boy do I hear ya! I have the same issue. I tracked my calories from alchohol over 6 weeks to see what I was averaging (and believe me, it was bad). So I allocated a "weekly alcohol calorie budget." I write down everything I drink on a marker board near the fridge, with the calories next to it. When I reach the limit, I'm done for that week. So in order to stay within the "budget", I've been sticking to wine or light beer, and not drinking on week days.
Wow, I really like that idea. My problem isn't necessarily drinking, but rather sweets at night. I could totally set up a calorie budget for that sort of thing.
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Old 11-30-2007, 10:45 AM   #8
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I read in a magazine that "IF" you drink to cut back to lower calorie drinks, light beer and maybe flavored vodka. When I really gained weight at about 30 I was "having fun" and drank a lot of margaritas, etc. Just go check out the calories on those drinks... I was clueless.

A weight trainer in college said that he drinks "only" on weekends, and if he does he plans on harder workouts to make up for it. If you think you "have to..." But if you can, cut the alcohol altogether for at least 2-3 months while you are pushing to lose the 10-20 lbs.

165 for 5'9 isn't bad. 155 is a nice weight - I'm the same height as you. I gained a bit lately and I'm up, but I feel best at about 155-60. I tried to get below 155 a few years ago and my clothes started to hang. If I can get that low again I'll certainly mix in weight training to make sure I have some muscle and am more toned, rather then skinny fat.

If you are 28 your metabolism is starting to change. At about 30 on we all tend to gain weight, especially so if we don't exercise. You didn't mention exercise and now is the time to start a serious routine so you don't go into your 30s a little overweight. I was tall thin through my 20s, didn't have to do anything but those days are long over. It's NICE to be 5'9 because as tall girls we can gain some weight - even 20 pounds - and it doesn't look as bad, we can easily disguise it. But why? You are young and cute and should enjoy fashion and your figure as much as possible at your age. But don't feel bad about yourself because of the weight either. Just work at it.
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Old 11-30-2007, 10:59 AM   #9
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THANK YOU - all of you for your sound advice.

I know the snacking and drinking need to stop, you all gave me some very helpful advice!! I usually drink vodka and club soda, so I can just alternate club soda only every other one. I have a wedding this weekend, wish me luck!!!

I exercise 2-3 times a week which I want to get up to 4-5. I am starting part-time grad school in January which will put a squeeze on my time, but I know exercise is about the only thing to keep me sane.

It's so funny... I complain about how unorganized my closets are, yet I spend my evenings lounging and snacking. GREAT suggestion to do something, ANYTHING, including organizing a closet!

Any tips for how to best manage and navigate the 3fc website and chats, articles, etc.? there is so much here!

Any great tips for how to stay motivated to exercise? I am a morning exerciser (I know myself well enough to know I just won't do it after work) - but with the winter it's so hard to get out of bed into the cold. I know how much better I feel all day if I do, it's just hard to convince a sleepy body to get out of a warm bed into the cold. Any tips are much appreciated.

Wow, I am so glad I found this website - you are all incredibly supportive, encouraging, and positive women. I can't wait to use this site more!

THANK YOU! I am in awe at the overwhelming response!!!
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Old 11-30-2007, 11:05 AM   #10
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Welcome to the 5'9 Club

I'm a drinker too. I drink on weekends with friends, but I also drink wine in the evenings when I get home from work and make and eat dinner. When I was really losing, I cut it out almost completely and when I did plan to drink, I organized my calories accordingly. Alcohol is so calorific!! Do you have a calorie budget, or are you using some other plan? Allotting yourself a certain number of alcohol calories per week and sticking to it is probably a good idea.

Other suggestions: think about the lowest calorie alcohol choices. If you're a beer drinker, drink that light beer. If you like liquor and cocktails, start relying heavily on mixers. For instance, a shot of whiskey has about 80 calories; if you drink a whiskey and diet coke, you can drink it relatively slowly and then alternate with straight diet coke. Or mix drinks with soda water. No juice! And no straight alcohol.

Also, I've found that exercise actually HELPS with hangovers. Like you, my first inclination was always to go out for breakfast and soak my hangover in bacon, eggs and hash browns. But actually, going to the gym and getting on the treadmill and then having a healthy breakfast or lunch is much more effective. It can be very tempting to treat a hangover as an excuse to go completely off-plan, but we shouldn't allow ourselves the indulgence: it just compounds the damage from the night before.

Finally, as others have said, 155lb is a perfectly reasonable weight for someone our height. It may or may not be difficult for you to drop any lower. That will probably depend on genetics as much as anything else. If your body resists, you need to either decide that 155 is fine, or really tighten the reins and stay disciplined with food and exercise. On the other hand, last winter I regained from about 143 to 158 and decided earlier this year that it was time to STOP gaining and reverse the damage. I ate 1800 calories a day with intensive exercise 5-6 days a week and the weight came right off. We don't know which way you'll be, BUT, I do know that out of control evening snacking and drinking too many calories WILL NOT HELP! It's discipline time!!!

Good luck!
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Old 11-30-2007, 11:08 AM   #11
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Oops. We posted at the same time.

Exercise. Yes. It's crucial to exercise. Definitely more than twice a week too. You just have to do it. Make an unbreakable date with yourself for exercise and stick to it no matter what. Just get your a$$ out of bed and go do it!

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Old 11-30-2007, 11:39 AM   #12
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joyfulveggirl - I got your PM but I can't reply until I have 25 posts. I'll write soon! Or feel free to PM me (I can read them, just cant' send them) and I can reply back via forum.
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Old 11-30-2007, 11:42 AM   #13
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Thanks baffled!

What are some tips to get you out of bed in the am? My head knows I need to, my body just doesn't listen all the time. UGH. I slept in tonight, so I'm going to kickboxing class tonight. and tomorrow I'm getting up at 6am (NO EXCUSES) to work out before an all day charity event followed by a wedding.

I do Weight Watchers - not "official" or anything, I don't find meetings help me, so I just do it on my own. I weigh in at the gym w/my trainer. I haven't weighed in in almost 3 weeks, though, so I'll be sure to do that Monday.

I used to always do weigh-in days on Thursdays, to know what i was dealing with going in to the weekend and to give me more time during the week to be good, but I think I'll switch to Mondays permanently - that will force me to behave on weekends!!
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Old 12-01-2007, 07:08 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Forever42 View Post
I'm mostly a lurker myself, but I wanted to thank you for this! This is a fabulous idea for myself as well and I'm going to work to implement it. I always say, my diet is excellent besides the beer
Thanks! It really has been working amazingly well too, because I was a heavy drinker for two years, and I've been able to stick to this plan for 2 months now. I think it's the organization and just writing it down makes it a reality. At the end of each week I write down how I did in an excel spreadsheet so that I can see how far I've I've come.

One suggestion: If you have friends/family come over, you might want to hide the marker board or they might think you have a problem lolol.

Cats Tongue: This would work well with sweets too. Or soda. Or any "problem" food!
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Old 12-01-2007, 12:39 PM   #15
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If you can do cardio in the am, weights are nice at night - at least I find so, it's easy to do a free weight routine while watching tv! If you aren't much overweight maybe you want to tone up your muscles, nice thing about weight training is you see results so quickly, as you get older you'll appreciate that. If you don't have much time in the am or aren't as motivated in the winter, get up, maybe ride your home exercise bike at home 20 min, then do a walk during lunch at work? It's said that splitting time 20 min and 20 min is the same as 40 min. There's a lot you can do at home, maybe you can do half and half - some days at the gym and some days at home to save time.
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