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Old 01-16-2012, 02:41 PM   #1  
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Default For those who can share on having lost significant weight, share some insight...

I have been reading around the forum a bit and am very excited to be in the midst of such wonderful women who have already achieved weight loss that seems incredible to me.
Never having lost more than 20lbs (or so) per go, and never having this kind of starting weight to start with, I find myself facing some mental challenges. I feel like I kind of need to shift gears in understanding what it would actually realistically take to start moving this mammoth weight (figuratively speaking) and getting on a path of constant progress.
One of the most disheartening things to me is, I would try to start being healthy by making a few small changes. I would work out here and there, eat healthy here and there, drink more water here and there. At the end of the week there would be maybe a half a pound loss, and then 3 weeks later, I'm not much different from where I started. Then I go through a period of not doing anything at all, and lo and behold 2 months down the line, my start weight is already 5lbs higher than before. Its terrifying.

Here are some of my questions to those of you who started making a difference and shedding a significant amount of weight over time:

1. What would you say were the absolute critical aspects for YOU in starting to move the weight? Was in heavy and intense exercise? not eating after a certain hour? Drinking more water? What would you nail as being the most important critical factors for you - where without those, you just do NOT lose weight, period.


2. Can someone explain to me why is it that those of us who have once been at a certain weight always have the threat of getting back there if we lose guard? I mean, is it really all because of terrible eating habits alone? Or does something else play? It seems that for a healthy 130lb woman who has never been overweight for instance, there is no constant threat of getting to 270lbs down the line out of nowhere. but for someone who has once been there, its not unusual at all to re-gain massive amounts of weight. Is it all in our habits alone? What gives?

3. Do you find that you HAVE to be hungry to achieve weight loss? Or have some of you found plans where you do not feel hungry (at least not intense overwhelming hunger) and yet continuously have good progress.

4. Is there such a thing as avoiding plateaus? And if/when they happen, what do you do to break out of them and how long does it take? How often do they hit typically, in a long weight loss journey? It seems that it is very common to lose a bunch of weight initially and then get stuck somewhere, from where people either seem to maintain, or regain many times, but a few break that barrier to continue to goal.

5. Do any of you deal with any lose skin issues as you lose weight? HOnestly I am really terrified about my tummy. I used to have a nice tummy. Now 2 kids and one c-section later, I wonder if it will EVER look remotely flat again, even if I lose all the weight.

thanks in advance for answering!
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Old 01-16-2012, 03:22 PM   #2  
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I lost 70+lbs and have kept it off for nearly 7 years:

1. What would you say were the absolute critical aspects for YOU in starting to move the weight? Was in heavy and intense exercise? not eating after a certain hour? Drinking more water? What would you nail as being the most important critical factors for you - where without those, you just do NOT lose weight, period.

Planning. It is impossible to eat well by accident. I have to plan meals, shop, cook, pack lunches, etc. Also, accepting this is for the rest of my life. I will never be able to eat like a "normal person." That made me fat. I had to change my normal. 90% of the time it's no big deal, it's just my life, 10% of the time I rail against the unfairness of the universe that put me in a body that can't eat as many muffins and cookies as I want.

2. Can someone explain to me why is it that those of us who have once been at a certain weight always have the threat of getting back there if we lose guard? I mean, is it really all because of terrible eating habits alone? Or does something else play? It seems that for a healthy 130lb woman who has never been overweight for instance, there is no constant threat of getting to 270lbs down the line out of nowhere. but for someone who has once been there, its not unusual at all to re-gain massive amounts of weight. Is it all in our habits alone? What gives?

I've lost significant amounts of weight twice before and gained it all back and more. What happened? I STOPPED DIETING. So, this time, I planned to start dieting and never stop. Everything I did to lose weight, I still do. Count calories, eat healthy/whole foods, avoid fast food, etc etc. FOREVER.

3. Do you find that you HAVE to be hungry to achieve weight loss? Or have some of you found plans where you do not feel hungry (at least not intense overwhelming hunger) and yet continuously have good progress.

No, I hate being hungry. In addition to calorie counting and eating whole foods, I also concentrated on volumetrics - eating big portions of low calorie foods to stay full and happy. I also looked at how I ate and realized I was pretty snacky in the afternoon, so I planned 3 small snacks in the afternoon while I was losing weight (I was never much of an eat after dinner person, my hungry time is the afternoon).

4. Is there such a thing as avoiding plateaus? And if/when they happen, what do you do to break out of them and how long does it take? How often do they hit typically, in a long weight loss journey? It seems that it is very common to lose a bunch of weight initially and then get stuck somewhere, from where people either seem to maintain, or regain many times, but a few break that barrier to continue to goal.

I lost weight pretty steadily until 140 when I plateaued pretty hard. IIRC took 5 months to lose the last 10 lbs. On the positive, I was pretty happy at 140 and was blissfully enjoying my new smaller self.

5. Do any of you deal with any lose skin issues as you lose weight? HOnestly I am really terrified about my tummy. I used to have a nice tummy. Now 2 kids and one c-section later, I wonder if it will EVER look remotely flat again, even if I lose all the weight.

I have loose skin on my stomach, inner thighs and my upper arms (near the pit). I don't have a flat tummy and I'm okay with that. Everything is easily hidden with clothes. I wouldn't trade my loose skin for full of fat skin, I love everything about being a healthy, slender person!

Last edited by Glory87; 01-16-2012 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 01-16-2012, 03:26 PM   #3  
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Welcome!

The most important thing for me was setting achievable goals. Most important has been a goal I can meet every day - staying under my target calories. This may vary depending on your plan, but as a calorie counter, calories are king for me. I can do this every day, and I know that by doing this every day, I will lose weight. Yes, there are stalls, there will be longer plateaus, there will be days where I give in to temptation or make a decision to go over, but I log it and move on. At first, planning was sooo important to keeping myself on track. In the morning I would log and plan all my food for the whole day, and if it wasn't on my log, I wouldn't eat it.

We all have hungry days and less hungry days, but I can say that I have not experienced mind-numbing hunger. I eat 1200-1300 cals a day right now (started at 1440) and usually have 3 meals and 3 snacks. High protein helps with hunger issues and a small snack goes a long way in curing the grumbly tummy. Also, a common quote around here is "hunger is not an emergency!"

Plateaus - I haven't hit a true plateau yet, but every month I stall for 10-14 days. It's the same time in my cycle so I know it's water retention due to hormones, and I lose it all at once over a few days. It teaches me patience and persistence

I am not done yet, so I don't know how the tummy situation will end up, but even with the saggy skin it's 10x better than it used to be.
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Old 01-16-2012, 03:47 PM   #4  
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1. What would you say were the absolute critical aspects for YOU in starting to move the weight? Was in heavy and intense exercise? not eating after a certain hour? Drinking more water? What would you nail as being the most important critical factors for you - where without those, you just do NOT lose weight, period.

I would say that the first thing to do is to commit to a time frame in becoming more healthy. For me, I decided to take a year and really focus on my weight loss. This meant putting myself first. I exercise every day after work. I have missed a few days, if I am meeting friends or traveling but unless I am not there, I will exercise. If I know I am not going to be able to exercise later in the week, I will do double miles to get them in. Also, putting yourself first means that you will take the time to make a healthy lunch every night before, a healthy breakfast and what you need to make a healthy dinner. Plan ahead.


2. Can someone explain to me why is it that those of us who have once been at a certain weight always have the threat of getting back there if we lose guard? I mean, is it really all because of terrible eating habits alone? Or does something else play? It seems that for a healthy 130lb woman who has never been overweight for instance, there is no constant threat of getting to 270lbs down the line out of nowhere. but for someone who has once been there, its not unusual at all to re-gain massive amounts of weight. Is it all in our habits alone? What gives?

I don't know.

3. Do you find that you HAVE to be hungry to achieve weight loss? Or have some of you found plans where you do not feel hungry (at least not intense overwhelming hunger) and yet continuously have good progress.

I don't feel hungry. I calorie count but I make what I eat count. I look for high fiber foods that will keep me feeling full and try to get enough protein with every meal. I drink lots of water too.

4. Is there such a thing as avoiding plateaus? And if/when they happen, what do you do to break out of them and how long does it take? How often do they hit typically, in a long weight loss journey? It seems that it is very common to lose a bunch of weight initially and then get stuck somewhere, from where people either seem to maintain, or regain many times, but a few break that barrier to continue to goal.

Knock on wood, I haven't had a plateau yet. I am using the definition of 6 weeks of not loosing as a plateau. Do I lose weight every week? No, some weeks I maintain or gain weight.

5. Do any of you deal with any lose skin issues as you lose weight? HOnestly I am really terrified about my tummy. I used to have a nice tummy. Now 2 kids and one c-section later, I wonder if it will EVER look remotely flat again, even if I lose all the weight.
I have loose skin. I am still loosing so I am not worrying about it right now. I will deal with it later. Even if I never get rid of my loose skin, it's still healthier then having the excess weight.
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Old 01-16-2012, 04:35 PM   #5  
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1. absolute critical aspect....
Desire. Everything flows from there.


2. gaining it back...
I have read that people never lose fat cells, they just shrink. People who have never been overweight have to create new fat cells to gain weight. We, on the other hand, already have those and they just grow again.


3. Do you find that you HAVE to be hungry to achieve weight loss?
I do, but from reading the board here I don't believe that's the norm for most.


4. Is there such a thing as avoiding plateaus?
I haven't hit a really long plateau yet, but I've found eating a little more for one day seemed to help me.


5. Do any of you deal with any lose skin issues as you lose weight?
Yep, I can see it already in my arms. I'm not sure where that will lead, but I'd rather live with that than the weight.


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Old 01-16-2012, 04:40 PM   #6  
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1. I'm involved in a Biggest Loser Challenge. In the past week, I was able to lose 9 lbs. Every day the last week (and I'm continuing), I drank 6-8 bottles of water (cut ALL soda/juices out), ate three HEALTHY meals a day (never replaced a meal with a food bar or single fruit or drink or something ridiculous), & worked out. I started walking 2mi and progressed to actually jogging! It's the first time I've jogged in years, and it took everything in me not to break down and cry.

2. Becoming a big girl doesn't happen overnight. In highschool, I weighed 200 lbs. By my senior year, I weighed 125 lbs. It took about four years to get back beyond 200. But, really, every time I saw the scale move up, I let it happen. I kept eating, and didn't exercise. It's about the choices we make. I can continue to mourn or do something. I've chosen the latter.

3. You will be hungry at some point. Anyone that says otherwise knows something I don't, and needs to explain how what sustained an overweight/obese person - once cut - WONT leave them hungry. It's also important to distinguish between starving and having the occasional grumbly tummy. One is normal. The other is unhealthy.

4. As far as plateaus, I'm of the mind that no weight gain is better than no weight loss. Patience and motivation goes a long way, and I need to take my own advice because I often get frustrated when I eat right and work out and don't see it on the scale.

5. I think this depends on the person and their body. My biggest issue with weight loss has less to do with a flabby tummy and more to do with non-existent boobies.

Best of luck!!!
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Old 01-16-2012, 04:43 PM   #7  
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1. What would you say were the absolute critical aspects for YOU in starting to move the weight? Was in heavy and intense exercise? not eating after a certain hour? Drinking more water? What would you nail as being the most important critical factors for you - where without those, you just do NOT lose weight, period.

Exercise because it helps me regulate my mood and decreases my appetite. After that giving up sugar. I was a major sugar addict and really would think about it ALL THE TIME. I cut it out cold turkez (and all artificial sweeteners) and it was one of the best decisions of my life! I ate absolutely no sugar for 6 months and now I eat it every now and then but in very, very limited amounts. I've always enjoyed veggies adn ate fairly healthy besides being a sugar addict so the rest sort of just followed.

2. Can someone explain to me why is it that those of us who have once been at a certain weight always have the threat of getting back there if we lose guard? I mean, is it really all because of terrible eating habits alone? Or does something else play? It seems that for a healthy 130lb woman who has never been overweight for instance, there is no constant threat of getting to 270lbs down the line out of nowhere. but for someone who has once been there, its not unusual at all to re-gain massive amounts of weight. Is it all in our habits alone? What gives?

Read up on leptin levels. There's some interesting stuff there. I've not this much weight before (just on the order of ~20lbs in the past and I regained once when I stopped being a college athlete and the second time due to pregnancy) so I can't speak from personal experience. This is something I've often wondered about too. I have made an effort to lose slowly and I feel that's helped in terms of changing my habits and I don't feel my hunger levels are bad either. I was even managed to maintain over the holidays without much effort at all.

3. Do you find that you HAVE to be hungry to achieve weight loss? Or have some of you found plans where you do not feel hungry (at least not intense overwhelming hunger) and yet continuously have good progress.

No. Cutting out sugar pretty much massively cut down my hunger levels. Then I switched to 100% whole grains and that helped too. Also combining fruit with protein and still watch my carb intake.

4. Is there such a thing as avoiding plateaus? And if/when they happen, what do you do to break out of them and how long does it take? How often do they hit typically, in a long weight loss journey? It seems that it is very common to lose a bunch of weight initially and then get stuck somewhere, from where people either seem to maintain, or regain many times, but a few break that barrier to continue to goal.


I've had a few but that's because I choose not to count calories (I found that extremely triggery for me) and I also had one when I started heavy weight lifting BUT I was losing inches like crazy. I also choose more or less to go on a maintenance break of the holidays. I've never regained, though (beyond TOM weight or water weight after exercise).

5. Do any of you deal with any lose skin issues as you lose weight? HOnestly I am really terrified about my tummy. I used to have a nice tummy. Now 2 kids and one c-section later, I wonder if it will EVER look remotely flat again, even if I lose all the weight.

Honestly? I have loose skin on my stomach and breasts. It's not horrible and personally, I'd rather have my almost fat stomach any day over my formerly obese one. I'm healthier now and if I decide to I can always get a tummy tuck. Slow weight loss, weigh training, lots of water etc MIGHT help but it's not guaranteed.
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Old 01-16-2012, 04:55 PM   #8  
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My number one thing was staying off the scale. I tracked my calories and nutrients to make sure I was doing what I knew I needed to but didn't check against the scale at all for the first 12 weeks and then only monthly after that. For me it was important to develop the habits I needed to lose weight and if the scale hadn't "rewarded" me then I would have given up.

By the time I saw how slowly I was losing, I was already on my way so I kept going.
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Old 01-16-2012, 05:14 PM   #9  
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Most critical aspect? Keeping track of everything that went in my mouth. I lost over 180 pounds in just over 1.5 years by calorie counting and moderate exercise. I had to give up junk type foods, like chips, icecream, candy, etc...if they're around, I'll eat them, period. I can honestly say I don't miss the junk food anymore and hope I never bring it back into my life again.

I think it's going back to old bad habits that causes the regain. I still weigh myself every single day so I know whether to adjust my calories ...yes I still keep track of my calories and probably always will.

I never really got hungry after about the first month. I learned what foods filled me up and kept me going. I don't know if I was actually hungry before, or if it was an emotional hunger. Probably emotional for me.

I had some plateaus. I just kept doing what I was doing and I got thru them. Wanted to pull out my hair and scream a couple times, though. Lol

I have loose skin and I'm 41, so I doubt all of it will go away. Don't care though because nobody can see it under my clothes. Hubby doesnt mind, he's just happy I'm healthy now. I got an elliptical over the summer, and it's helping to tone me, so I don't jiggle near as much as I used to. I just jogged on the treadmill before. I have a little bulge on my lower tummy that's skin and my thighs are wrinkly, but like I said, under clothes you can't see it. I wear some support panties and it helps.
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Old 01-16-2012, 07:17 PM   #10  
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1. What would you say were the absolute critical aspects for YOU in starting to move the weight? Was in heavy and intense exercise? not eating after a certain hour? Drinking more water? What would you nail as being the most important critical factors for you - where without those, you just do NOT lose weight, period.

The critical aspects in me starting to move the weight was i got to a point in my life where i was tired of being fat,being on so many pills cause of it and was miserable.Sick and tired of being sick and tired.Been fat for as long as i can remember.Wanted to spend the rest of my life healthy,happy,look good,have self-esteem and be confident.
When i started out.All i could do was walk up and down my drive way.I had a hard time breathing.The more i walked the stronger i got.After a month or so i could walk down the street,Then blocks.Later found a track,could only walk 1 lap,then 2.Later starting trotting to certain spots at the track then walking the rest of the way.Eventually the trotting turned into a slow jog,now.. all out jogging 3 miles so far.Later joined a gym.
I had to learn how to eat.I didn't know.I took the first month and consumed myself with knowledge on how to eat.Once i did that I learned that eating late wasn't good so i learned to eat nothing after 5pm for my sleep schedule.
I learned that i needed to drink half of my body weight in water so i did.Bought a 32oz container so that i was able to judge how much i was drinking.
Staying Mentally focused on what i want.Changed my mindset of how i look at food.Know what certain food did /will do to me.I have/had a choice.eat junk,be unhealthy,miserable like I've been all my life or eat healthy good food and be healthy,happy,feel good about myself,the rest of my life.



2. Can someone explain to me why is it that those of us who have once been at a certain weight always have the threat of getting back there if we lose guard? I mean, is it really all because of terrible eating habits alone? Or does something else play? It seems that for a healthy 130lb woman who has never been overweight for instance, there is no constant threat of getting to 270lbs down the line out of nowhere. but for someone who has once been there, its not unusual at all to re-gain massive amounts of weight. Is it all in our habits alone? What gives?

I don't have a fear of going back to where i was.It's all mental.Yes,i did lose 100 lbs back in 95" and gained it all back. I didn't have the knowledge and wisdom that i have know.I ate prepacked foods and the place never taught me how to eat after i stopped eating their foods.Maybe they tried to teach me and i just wasn't listening or something.But I like me now.For me It's the healthy eating habits,for my lifestyle, that I'm developing.It's not unusual for a person to regain all their weight back.If they get too comfortable when they've reached goal,think that they can eat this and that,forgetting where they came from.For me,developing a habit eating healthy,(Forever learning) making good choices in any situation,helps strengthen my new lifestyle everyday.

3. Do you find that you HAVE to be hungry to achieve weight loss? Or have some of you found plans where you do not feel hungry (at least not intense overwhelming hunger) and yet continuously have good progress.

I'm never hungry.If anything I'm tired of eating.

4. Is there such a thing as avoiding plateaus? And if/when they happen, what do you do to break out of them and how long does it take? How often do they hit typically, in a long weight loss journey? It seems that it is very common to lose a bunch of weight initially and then get stuck somewhere, from where people either seem to maintain, or regain many times, but a few break that barrier to continue to goal.

I've had many plateaus.More than likely will have more before I'm finished.I stay strong,believed in my plan and keep on working.I knew that if i kept eating healthy that the fat would eventually give up the fight.What other choice did i have.Going back to eating the way i was was not an option.

5. Do any of you deal with any lose skin issues as you lose weight? HOnestly I am really terrified about my tummy. I used to have a nice tummy. Now 2 kids and one c-section later, I wonder if it will EVER look remotely flat again, even if I lose all the weight

I have loose skin under my arms and wrinkle skin other places but it doesn't bother me too much.I've been thinking about the skin under my arms this week.Don't know what to do about it,probably nothing IDK. For now,Just glad these arms can fit in a size 10 dress.

Last edited by OnaMi; 01-16-2012 at 07:45 PM.
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Old 01-16-2012, 07:46 PM   #11  
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1. What would you say were the absolute critical aspects for YOU in starting to move the weight? Was in heavy and intense exercise? not eating after a certain hour? Drinking more water? What would you nail as being the most important critical factors for you - where without those, you just do NOT lose weight, period.

I had to plan my meals. Every Sunday I made dinner for the week and froze single portions, lunch (a salad, soup, fruit), my breakfast... Even if it was just to cut up some vegetables to prepare with dinner or marinade chicken SOMETHING HEALTHY WAS ALWAYS READY. Everyone likes to say weight loss is 80% diet, 20% exercise. That's not true, no one GAINS weight by not doing exercise. It's 100% diet. That being said... You need exercise to be healthy and you will lose weight much much faster. Also you will look much better. Also... Count the calories...


2. Can someone explain to me why is it that those of us who have once been at a certain weight always have the threat of getting back there if we lose guard? I mean, is it really all because of terrible eating habits alone? Or does something else play? It seems that for a healthy 130lb woman who has never been overweight for instance, there is no constant threat of getting to 270lbs down the line out of nowhere. but for someone who has once been there, its not unusual at all to re-gain massive amounts of weight. Is it all in our habits alone? What gives?
Just like weight loss happens slow, so does weight gain. It's easy to readjust what your normal looks like. It's also easier to be in denial if you've been say 300 pounds for so long and start creeping back up... You still look better than your original 300.

3. Do you find that you HAVE to be hungry to achieve weight loss? Or have some of you found plans where you do not feel hungry (at least not intense overwhelming hunger) and yet continuously have good progress.

Nope nope nope. I'm never hungry but I do have cravings. I feel like if you're hungry, you're doing it wrong. There are tons of tasty low calorie foods that will fill you up without filling you out. Hunger pain can lead you to just eat whatever and anyone with an eating disorder will tell you that starving doesn't work. Eventually it all backfires and you binge.

4. Is there such a thing as avoiding plateaus? And if/when they happen, what do you do to break out of them and how long does it take? How often do they hit typically, in a long weight loss journey? It seems that it is very common to lose a bunch of weight initially and then get stuck somewhere, from where people either seem to maintain, or regain many times, but a few break that barrier to continue to goal.
Plateaus happen but usually you just need to stay on plan and either up your physical intensity for a bit, or change your calorie intake a bit. Your body works pretty similar to everyone else, weight loss will happen if you're burning more energy than you have but the scale won't tell you the whole story. I weigh everyday and look at trends over the week. You will never really see a plateau that way.

5. Do any of you deal with any lose skin issues as you lose weight? HOnestly I am really terrified about my tummy. I used to have a nice tummy. Now 2 kids and one c-section later, I wonder if it will EVER look remotely flat again, even if I lose all the weight.
My poor boobs... *sigh* But I'd rather have a healthy rocking body with some saggier parts than be fat and huffing up steps.
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:44 PM   #12  
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1. What would you say were the absolute critical aspects for YOU in starting to move the weight? Was it heavy and intense exercise? not eating after a certain hour? Drinking more water? What would you nail as being the most important critical factors for you - where without those, you just do NOT lose weight, period.

I absolutely MUST use software to monitor my nutrition and log everything I eat. If I stop doing this for even a little while I will go off my plan. Also I HAD to restrict carbs, I am a carb addict and I get fat when I eat even moderate amounts of carbs. Now that I am in pre-maintenance I have added a significant workout routine to rebuild muscles I lost when dieting.


2. Can someone explain to me why is it that those of us who have once been at a certain weight always have the threat of getting back there if we lose guard? I mean, is it really all because of terrible eating habits alone? Or does something else play? It seems that for a healthy 130lb woman who has never been overweight for instance, there is no constant threat of getting to 270lbs down the line out of nowhere. but for someone who has once been there, its not unusual at all to re-gain massive amounts of weight. Is it all in our habits alone? What gives?

I think we convince ourselves that it's not so bad, we can get back on the wagon "tomorrow", we aren't as fat as we used to be, etc. Until, slowly over a long period of denial, we are.

3. Do you find that you HAVE to be hungry to achieve weight loss? Or have some of you found plans where you do not feel hungry (at least not intense overwhelming hunger) and yet continuously have good progress.

I am almost never hungry. MediFast was very effective for me in that I always felt full. Low-carb, even more so. Now that I am doing JUDDD for maintenance, I get hungry sometimes on my down days. I just remind myself that I can eat tomorrow and usually I can hold off until then on whatever is tempting me. And then, by tomorrow it no (usually) no longer seems as tempting.

4. Is there such a thing as avoiding plateaus? And if/when they happen, what do you do to break out of them and how long does it take? How often do they hit typically, in a long weight loss journey? It seems that it is very common to lose a bunch of weight initially and then get stuck somewhere, from where people either seem to maintain, or regain many times, but a few break that barrier to continue to goal.

Ick, plateaus. I hate them! The only way I have ever found to deal with a plateau is to completely change everything. Sometimes I had to stop dieting completely, eat like a pig for two or three days, then go back to my diet again, with a few changes thrown in to confuse the metabolism. As long as I kept changing it up, I was usually able to break a plateau. The one thing that will eventually stop working is progressively lowering your caloric intake each time you plateau. Because if you do that (like I did), eventually you will plateau at 400 calories a day. And then what do you do?
JUDDD.


5. Do any of you deal with any lose skin issues as you lose weight? Honestly I am really terrified about my tummy. I used to have a nice tummy. Now 2 kids and one c-section later, I wonder if it will EVER look remotely flat again, even if I lose all the weight.

I have loose skin. My tummy is scary looking. I will never wear a bikini again. But it (mostly) shrank back, and what is left, though wrinkly and droopy, tucks invisibly into my skinny jeans and no one but my husband knows it's there. My tummy looks flat in my jeans. And dh is so glad "to have his wife back" that he doesn't even care about the skin. I have it at the top of my thighs and my arms as well. I'd rather have loose skin than all that jiggly fat and the ill health that went with it.
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:49 PM   #13  
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I'll jump in here. I decided to get healthy on January 13th of last year. I changed how I ate and joined a gym I set a goal of 100 pound by the end of 2011 and jumped in with both feet. No small changes - lots of big ones. I reassessed my goal and quit after losing 90 pounds in 8 1/2 months. I'll explain that below.

1. What would you say were the absolute critical aspects for YOU in starting to move the weight?

It was critical to me to set weekly goals. I started out with the idea that I could lose 3 pounds a week for about 10 weeks and then was shooting for 1% a week until I lost all the weight. I made a chart on Excel and posted to it every Wednesday. That was part of my mental game. I physically went to the gym a t least 5 times a week and took classes I enjoyed and pushed as hard as I could at the time in every class. I cut out all pasta, potatoes, rice, and bread for about 4 months. With that, carb and sugar cravings decreased to the point where they really didn't matter to me any more. I loaded up on veggies and fruit. I drink at least 80 oz. of water a day - usually 120. I eat lean protein at every meal. I kept to about 1400 calories a day while I was losing. I was diligent about all of this and didn't fluctuate very much.

2. Can someone explain to me why is it that those of us who have once been at a certain weight always have the threat of getting back there if we lose guard? Is it all in our habits alone? What gives?

My daughter is a healthy 130 lb woman. She watches what she eats every meal. She might go crazy once in a while, but not the way we "heavies" tend to, if you know what I mean. I think that's the difference. I really believe that the thin people I know make choices all the time - and now I'm striving to "think and eat like a thin person." To me, that means getting back to healthy eating immediately after and "event" like Christmas or a birthday celebration. More on this in the next answer.

3. Do you find that you HAVE to be hungry to achieve weight loss? Or have some of you found plans where you do not feel hungry (at least not intense overwhelming hunger) and yet continuously have good progress.

I never felt hungry in that I couldn't wait to eat or I thought I'd pass out or something. Loading up on fiber and veggies and fruit can keep you pretty full. However - I realized that in the past, as soon as I felt a little hungry, I'd eat - regardless of how soon my next meal was scheduled. I did some reading and learned, as a rule, thin people tend to feel hunger, check the time and usually realize a meal is coming up soon and wait. Heavier people tend to feel hunger and immediately eat. I came to see feeling a little hungry as a good thing - I could push past it and eat a healthy meal as planned.

4. Is there such a thing as avoiding plateaus?

I can't speak for anyone but myself, but in the 8 1/2 months that I was trying to lose weight, I never had more than one week go by where I didn't lose. I never had a week (Wednesday to Wednesday) where I gained, and I had just one where I lost nothing. I think staying to a plan, exercising, and getting enough water contributed to that. Everyone's different, though. Holding steady is a good thing, though. It's your body adjusting to new challenges.


5. Do any of you deal with any loose skin issues as you lose weight?

I said earlier I planned to lose 100 pounds. I'm 60 years old and have been over 250 pounds for 25 years or more. I knew what 152 pounds looked like when I was 35 and was hoping it would look the same at 60. It doesn't. When I hit 80 pounds, the skin on my upper arms and my thighs started to show signs of becoming too loose. At 90 pounds, it was worse, as might be expected. So, 100% out of vanity, I quit losing when I hit 162 pounds. I'm older - I don't aspire to have a really flat tummy anymore. Other people my age who were never heavy are a little bit baggy - it's part of being 60. But I want to feel comfortable wearing shorts and tee shirts. And I'm good with size 10 or 12 jeans, so this is where I will stay until (if ever) this baggy old skin tightens up. My face was starting to look too drawn, too. We'll have to revisit this in a year or so. I do agree that loose skin is better than obesity. Adjust your goal when you get closer. Don't feel it's quitting or failing.

You raised some great questions and made me really think about this process. I'm only into my 4th month of maintenance, but it's a lot like losing. Not like dieting. Like eating healthy foods because we deserve to be healthy. Good luck.

Lin
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Old 01-16-2012, 10:01 PM   #14  
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This thread caught my eye earlier, but I was on my iPad so I didn't feel like typing out my responses on that. I've lost 70 pounds since I began this leg of my journey and within the 6 years before that I lost 20 pounds or more. My highest known weight is 200...but I did lost some to get to that.


1. What would you say were the absolute critical aspects for YOU in starting to move the weight? Was in heavy and intense exercise? not eating after a certain hour? Drinking more water? What would you nail as being the most important critical factors for you - where without those, you just do NOT lose weight, period.

I think it was changing my habits slowly, over the course of seven years. I started with exercise, then healthy eating and finally controlling my portions. Even now I change it up and I've been paying attention to the nutritional content of my meals and making note of how I feel.

I've found that eating a high protein, low carb diet helps me feel better, but I didn't necessarily lose faster or slower on it.


2. Can someone explain to me why is it that those of us who have once been at a certain weight always have the threat of getting back there if we lose guard? I mean, is it really all because of terrible eating habits alone? Or does something else play? It seems that for a healthy 130lb woman who has never been overweight for instance, there is no constant threat of getting to 270lbs down the line out of nowhere. but for someone who has once been there, its not unusual at all to re-gain massive amounts of weight. Is it all in our habits alone? What gives?

You're going against evolution when you lose weight. Your body WANTS to be fat again and your metabolism at your goal weight is going to be slower than someone who has never been obese.

Long-term maintainers are biologically different than people who have been normal weighted their entire life.

I also think that some of the problem with the low success rate is society itself and how weight and weight loss are viewed.

3. Do you find that you HAVE to be hungry to achieve weight loss? Or have some of you found plans where you do not feel hungry (at least not intense overwhelming hunger) and yet continuously have good progress.

I don't know if I can really chime in here. I don't really get hungry. 1200 calories a day is plenty for me if I actually sit down and pay attention to my hunger cues.

Most of my issue was with boredom eating. Once I nipped that in the bud I found that I wasn't really eating all that much.

Pay attention to your hunger. Are you truly hungry or do you just want food for the sake of eating it?

4. Is there such a thing as avoiding plateaus? And if/when they happen, what do you do to break out of them and how long does it take? How often do they hit typically, in a long weight loss journey? It seems that it is very common to lose a bunch of weight initially and then get stuck somewhere, from where people either seem to maintain, or regain many times, but a few break that barrier to continue to goal.

I didn't ever experience a true plateau. I got stuck at two weights for around three weeks (170lbs and 136lbs) but I stuck with my plan and eventually moved past them.

I think one of the things that helped me avoid a plateau was the fact that I'm always varying my exercises.

5. Do any of you deal with any lose skin issues as you lose weight? HOnestly I am really terrified about my tummy. I used to have a nice tummy. Now 2 kids and one c-section later, I wonder if it will EVER look remotely flat again, even if I lose all the weight.

I'm 23. I never had kids. I do not have a flat stomach. Will I ever get one? I don't know. Right now I have loose skin and maybe some fat there.

I followed all of the "advice"—I strength train, I lost at a healthy rate, I drank lots of water—but I still wound up with saggy skin. I DID manage to avoid flabby arms and legs though, so thank goodness for strength training.

I'm toying with the idea of trying to drop five more pounds and making sure I get even more core exercises in...but I'm not sure if that will help.

I think the only way I could get a flat stomach is to get a tummy tuck, which wouldn't happen until after kids anyway.
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:56 AM   #15  
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WOW!!!!!!!!!!
What amazing stories, wonderful tips and a BUCKET load of inspiration so far!!!
I have literally been savoring reading each one of your stories/responses - its been better than any candy today
It all has made me wonder, why have I been in denial for so long?
I wish I had rolled up my sleeves and gotten involved with this forum so much sooner. But now is better than tomorrow, and by miles better than still being in denial a year from today.
Its been awesome to learn that I don't *have* to be hungry based on what many are saying. In the past, I could almost tell whether the scale will show a difference in the morning based on whether I was feeling munchy/hungry going to bed.
I did have a wonderful day today in terms of health
I have realized I am just so scared of failure, and it makes it hard to believe myself that I can actually do it, and hard to imagine I will be successful long term - because I've been battling weight all my life. But I'll go ahead and say it - may today be day one to a wonderful weight loss journey and may I NEVER come back to weight what I do now again, the rest of my life!
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