I am new here... I am not sure where to begin. I need to lose at least 100 pounds and I am feeling very overwhelmed. I feel like I am ready and I know I need to do it but I am not really sure how to do it and actually keep with it for more than a few weeks without giving up. I know about most of the plans out there and have tried many of them. I need something that does not feel like a fad, something that I can stick with. I need some ideas. Thank you for any advice you can give.
You sound just like me when I started. I had about 120 pounds to lose when I started, and it seemed overwhelming.
I think that the key to sticking with something more than just a couple of weeks is to not make any radical changes in your life, at least not to start. I know, it sounds counter-intuitive. I mean, you need to lose 100 pounds, surely you need to turn your life upside down, right? No. I started by making small changes, things that I could see my self doing for a long time (as long as I don't want to regain the weight, which is forever). You can turn your life inside out for a little while, but soon your old habits will re-assert themselves. Gradually develop new habits.
Losing weight is simply a matter of eating few calories than you burn off. That's it. You can count carbs, protien, or fat grams all you want, but it does ultimately boil down to the calories. You simply have to eat less, there are no magic formulas or diets or whatever.
I think it is important to know how much you really are eating now. One of the first things I did was buy a digital scale, and then use to learn what I thought a serving of something was, versus what a serving really was. If you are accustomed to eating a big bowl of cereal every morning, you might be surprised to to find you are eating 3 or 4 servings of the stuff. Many people find that using an online calorie counting program is very helpful. www.fitday.com has one that is free, and you can add you own foods to it so that the more you use it, the easier it is.
Don't ban any food, especially stuff that you really love. If I told myself that I couldn't ever have barbequed ribs, I wouldn't have gotten very far. Just understand that you can't have whatever it is you want as often as you might want it. I want some ribs now, but instead I'll have a small, sensible dinner, and perhaps on the weekend I'll have the ribs.
Learn to make healthful substitutions for what you normally eat. Do you love french fries? Try oven roasted fries instead, or even sweet potato oven fries. Love fast food hamburgers? Give home made veggies burgers a go. Gotta have dessert? Try sugarfree angel food cake, or fat free pudding a try.
Read the blogs and websites of other people who have had some success. See what they say they are doing, and then try some of the same things yourself.
Try exercise. When I first started, I commited to just ten minutes a day, 5 times a week. Ten minutes? I could do that! That was just a walk around the block a couple of times. Heck, I could almost do that during a commercial break. Even this little bit helped, and soon I was doing more just because I wanted to.
Understand that it will be a slow process, and you might not see the changes in yourself for a while. I lost 30 pounds before other noticed, and close to 50 pounds before I could see a change.
Understand that you might be hungry from time to time. It's okay, hunger isn't the end of the world. Don't let yourself get starved to the point where you are ravenous and don't care about anything other than eating, though.
I hope this is enough to give you some ideas on starting. I'm sure you'll get lots of great advice here, I know I sure did/do!
I'm Tealeaf, and I approve of this message.
My weight loss site, with blog, before and after pics, recipes, tips, charts, and stuff. Annie Takes Off
One of the things that worked for me was to make it personal challenge to create dinner meals that were big on volume and low on calories-- and to do it so well nobody else in the house really knew what was going on. This meant I felt full and satisfied... and also very, very clever.
I also tracked my weight daily. Some people disagree with that method, but I have an excel spreadsheet that "smooths" out the fluctuations and will generate a graph for each month, or past three months. I got really addicted to seeing my progress.
The hardest part of was learning to be philosophical about plateaus. I experienced them approximately every 10 - 15 pounds. It's really tempting to give up when your scale isn't moving (or is creeping upward) for days and sometimes weeks at a time. DON'T LET IT GET TO YOU! Your body is just regrouping.
Last but not least, keep reading here in 3FC. The advice and encouragement is priceless.
I would just start small. Make 5 goals for the week that you are completely in control of (not your weight on the scale). Decide if you meet 4/5 goals, you will get a pre-determined reward, like a pedicure or maybe a cute pair of sandals you've been eyeing.
Vegetables are good, add 2 servings of vegetables every day
Try one new healthy recipe
Don't drink any calories for a week
Pack a healthy lunch at least 3 days this week
Go to bed on time at least 3 nights this week
If you meet your goals at the end of the week, take your reward and make new goals for the next week (keep the goals, add goals, remove some goals). If you make your ultimate goal to be healthier, the weight loss should follow.
SIX YEARS at maintenance weight!
Honestly, I don't think it matters WHERE you start, just that you start SOMEWHERE. I know how overwhelming it all can be especially with 100 pounds to lose. Annie is right, though. At the end of the day it is going to boil down to burning more calories than you consume. So, be flexible. There is no right or wrong way to lose weight - there is only what works for YOU. Most plans WILL result in weight loss but that doesn't mean you can live with them long enough to reach your goal and stay there. If you try calorie counting and it doesn't fit your lifestyle then try something else -but don't give up all together. If you give running a try and hate it then try something else - but don't give up all together. Don't feel like you HAVE to do what anyone else is doing just because it is working for them. Take the bits and pieces of information that make sense for you and apply them to your life. It something works keep doing it. If something doesn't work don't try and make it just because another person found success with it. We all have our own goals and reasons for wanting to lose weight. It is important not to confuse YOUR goals and reasons with someone else's.
Also, don't hang your hat on the number you see on the scale. Your weight is only ONE tool out of many by which to gauge your success. Take note of your measurements,of how your clothes fit, how you feel, how much more active you are. Then remember that no matter how long it takes the scale to show you the "magic" number isn't what it ultimately important. What is important is that you are actively persuing your goals and becoming more and more healthy with each day. It doesn't matter how long it takes to get to your goal weight it only matters that you get there.
Finally, and this goes back to being flexible, keep in mind that your attitude and goals will change as you progress. At 214 pounds I just wanted to lose a little weight and be healthier. At 180, I still wanted to lose weight but "healthier" wasn't good enough anymore. I wanted to be 100% healthy, not just better off than I had been. At 160, I wanted to be able to wear really cute clothes. The point is that I've had to evaluate where I am and where I'm headed several times along the way. Don't let yourself get stuck in a rut. Good Luck!
I agree with all the advice above. I don't think I'm adding anything new, but repackaging what those above have said. Think of this as the ABCs to a healthy lifestyle:
A is for Attitude: You have to believe in yourself and that you can do it.
B is for Behavior: Don't focus on the weight loss, focus on new behaviors (eating and exercise). You can control your behaviors, after all. And don't worry if A follows B in this case. Psychologists know that attitude sometimes precedes but sometimes follows behavior. These new behaviors take time to learn, and many of us take baby steps to incorporate them into our daily lives.
C is for Commitment: This one should probably come first. Make a commitment to yourself (and not necessarily to any one plan!). If you fall off the wagon, get back on again. Don't allow yourself to give up (but don't keep working a plan that isn't working for you!).
My 5 C's of healthy living: Commitment to conscious control, with the understanding that choices have consequences
water...it has been a HUGE help for me. If I'm a little hungry shortly after a meal, I'll have a glass of water cause that fools my body into thinking I'm eating when I'm not. I drink 500-600 oz of water each week. I feel like I have so much more energy...probably because I've been flushing my system with all the water drinking.
__________________ LONG TERM GOAL
21-Day Challenge: No DrPepper 1 for each day
Get Your Groove on Challenge: Lose 4 lbs by Valentines Day 1 for each lb lost
I can't stress enough how important it is to me, to be tracking what I eat...FitDay or *********** or wherever. This is the longest I have ever stuck with a "diet"..(Yeah, guys, I know it can't be thought of as a "diet"--i was just too lazy to type it out any other way) Knowing that every bite I take, I have to put it in the computer, and if my weight goes up I have to come to 3FC and change my tracker is all the motivation I need to stick to it.
MY "thing" is that I have to be "accountable" for what I eat, to somebody or something. And I get that "supervision" here on the computer.
One of the smartest posts I ever read on this board was somebody that said, "well you have to lose the first 6 lbs. before you can lose the second 6 lbs." Because that first 6 lbs. is the hardest. I wish I could remember who posted it. A very wise observation if you think about it.
Annie's advice is pretty much what I did. And the other tips are great.
One thing I do that helps me is to keep a journal where I have pasted inspirational pics I've cut out of magazines (mostly sports stuff I'd like to do), I keep track of my weight and measurements over time. Food and exercise notes. Whatever helps me (I note when my period is too). I can see when I'm having problems, and why (food or less exercise), I can see patterns over time, and it keeps me motivated and ready to tackle the next week. It's my private place where I'm accountable to me (and where I get credit for all the work I do too).
Hi cc! I'm just getting started too and have about the same amount of weight to lose. And, like you, I am a little confused about where to begin. I've tried a ton of diets with limited success, because I'm not good at diets that limit certain foods or are complicated. I have one now that I am considering that is from a doctor - a friend went to a clinic that specializes in weight loss and she has done very well with it - but i'm just not sure about it. however, i have started walking every day and skipping foods i know are full of calories, fat and other bad studd. I've tried cutting down my portions, too, because I know I have a problem with knowing how much is too much.
I guess what I'm saying is you aren't alone in this! But I think there are enough of us here to stick together and find our way to healthier bodies.
I find accountablity is the biggest key for me. I weigh, measure & write down everything I eat, including water. I write down exactly what I did to exercise, how long & how hard, etc. I skip an exercise day I write it down as a skip & I 'own' it, as Oprah would say.
All of the other ladies have said it much better than I can.
Thank you everyone for your encouragement. I appreciate it so much, It helps to know that so many have been in the same place I am right now.
Maybe I will start a blog and keep a journal there to help keep me motivated.
I do like the idea of just making small changes instead of trying to do everything at once. I think thats where I failed before -- trying to change too much all at once. I just am going to focus on making better choices and watch portions to start foodwise and commit to dusting off my exercise bike. I also am going to re-learn to love myslef and trust myself.
Thanks again... Its the beginning of a new phase in my life!