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Old 05-27-2005, 04:46 PM   #1
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Default 54 lbs lost :)

In 1999, I weighed 150 lbs and got a great new job. I love my job, but it's very stressful and takes up a lot of my time. My job also has an awesome cafeteria. It was a combination of staying late at work and eating dinner out of the snack machine, not working out and basically just eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted - I ended up weighing around 192 lbs.

I spent a couple of years miserable with my weight - fantasizing and wishing I could lose weight. I knew I had to eat less and exercise more, but it just seemed like TOO MUCH WORK, I couldn't get over my depression and unhappiness to make any kind of positive change.

I let myself go, quit wearing make up, quit buying clothes, I basically wore the same pair of size 18 loose fit Eddie Bauer jeans for 2 years. I let my hair go long and curly - I kept telling people I was planning to donate it to Locks for Love, but in my heart I knew I felt too unattractive to bother with my hair every day. I quit looking at myself in the mirror, or down at myself in the shower. I tried to make myself disappear.

In July of last year, a couple of things happened. First, my size 18 jeans got tight. I complained to my boyfriend and he said just buy a bigger pair. I couldn't face the thought of buying size 20 jeans. Then, I was in a public bathroom and sat down and cut my outer thigh on a metal trash receptacle. I bled and I cried, I was too fat for a public bathroom. Finally, my mom insisted that I would come visit her for Christmas - she's a naturally genetically skinny person, she had never seen me that heavy, I couldn't bear to go to Texas and have her NOT mention my weight and talk around it for the entire visit.

I was in a bookstore and saw this book called Super Foods Rx: 14 Foods That Will Save Your Life by Steven Pratt. I was idly looking through it and what I read actually made me excited. The author thought that some foods were nutritionally more powerful than other foods - some foods could fight disease, maintain youth and prevent age-related brain degeneration (for the record, the super foods are blueberries, broccoli, beans, tea, walnuts, soy, oranges, tomatoes, pumpkin, yogurt, spinach, salmon, oats, turkey). The book was so exciting, I bought it - what happened next was pretty magical to me.

I decided that day to completely change everything. I wanted to make changes to be healthier, to lose weight and most importantly to lose weight long term. I did not go on a diet, I changed my lifestyle - this is forever. Whole foods in, processed foods out, 5 veggies, 4 fruits, 2-3 dairy, 2-3 whole grain, 10 different super foods, protein with every meal, green and black tea every day, between 1400-1600 calories - I concentrated on what I should be eating. My goal is to eat whole, nutritionally powerful foods every day and avoid foods which are not good for me.

The weight just flew off, I weighed 163 lbs by October and 153 lbs by Christmas (good visit with my mom, btw). I had amazing energy, got a promotion at work and feel so much better, it is a miracle.

After 10 months of reduced caloric intake, my body has figured out it can get by on fewer calories, it is efficient. While I salute my body's "can do" attitude (I guess that would be a good thing if I were starving in a wilderness someplace) timing was really sucky to leave me stuck at 140 lbs. I couldn't restrict my calories anymore, I don't want to teach my body it can get along on even LESS. I didn't want a future where my body maintained at 1200 calories!!!

I upped my daily caloric intake to between 1800 and 1900 calories a day, I have since lost an additional 2 lbs I feel GREAT!

The only thing I really really need to go is commit to a gym/weight lifting plan. I need to find out why I find the idea so intimidating! I do my little video tape every day, but I know I really need weight lifting to help increase my metabolism even more.

Before and after pics:


This is the third time in my life that I've lost a sizeable amount of weight - but those other two times, I "dieted." I eventually stopped and all the weight came back and more. This time - not a diet, I'm never going to stop.

HW 192 CW 138 GW 135
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Old 05-27-2005, 04:48 PM   #2
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Default My "rules for myself" for weight loss

Rule 1 – I read this great book called Super Foods RX: 14 Food that Will Change Your Life by Steven Pratt.


I made a goal to completely overhaul my eating in order to make me the healthiest person I could be. I have a family history of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s. I am very interested in the science of using food as preventative measures against these diseases. When I look at a food option I think, "will this make me healthier?”

Super foods are: tomato (including watermelon), spinach (all leafy greens), whole grains (brown rice, whole wheat, quinoa, barley etc), yogurt, tea (green or black), pumpkin (carrots, sweet potato, orange pepper), orange, walnuts (all nuts), beans, blueberries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries), broccoli, salmon (halibut, canned albacore tuna), soy, turkey

My goal is to eat 1 food from at least 10 super food groups a day. So, if I eat blueberries and strawberries, that only counts as 1 since they are in the same group. I try to eat only whole, healthy foods and I try not to eat processed foods.

Rule 2 – No radical, unsustainable changes. When I first decided I wanted to change my eating habits to be stronger and healthier, I knew I needed something I could stick with forever. I couldn't radically change how I eat - there's no way to maintain that long term. Plus, I had to take my boyfriend into consideration. We've been living together 8 years, both vegetarians, what could I change that meant we could still eat dinner together nearly every night? I looked at our usual dinner menus. We ate a lot of stir fries, curry dishes, pasta and quesadillas/enchiladas.

With John's support, we switched from white rice to brown rice, regular pasta to whole wheat pasta, white flour tortillas to whole wheat tortillas. We added more veggies to our meals (broccoli in stir fry, wilted spinach in pasta sauce) and reduced the amount of cheese, oil and butter we cooked with. I also became more aware of a true serving size, actually eating a single serving of brown rice or whole wheat pasta (a little kitchen scale is one of the best purchases I ever made). For example, I used to eat a HUGE plate of pasta with a little sauce and a little salad. I now eat a small plate of pasta (carefully measured 2.0 oz serving) with a LOT of sauce and a BIG salad.

Rule 3 - As much fruit and vegetables as I want. No counting, no nothing. If I want an apple – I eat an apple. If I want a whole bag of sugar snap peas - I eat the bag. I aim for 4 servings of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables every day. Leafy greens and brightly colored veggies are my priority. (dried fruits are the exception, they are so condensed it’s easy to eat too many and they pack a calorie punch, I’m much more aware of an actual serving size of dried fruit).

Rule 4 - Some sort of protein at every meal, protein helps me feel FULL. There are lots of good ways to get protein - lean meats, tofu, dairy, beans, legumes, peanut butter. As a former vegetarian, I’ve added some turkey into my menu planning and I’m eating a ton more fish (salmon, tuna).

Rule 5 - Avoid processed crap. All those chemicals just weighed me down and the unscrupulous corporate *******s like to sneak in trans fat and high fructose corn syrup. I haven’t had fast food since July and I hope to live without it forever. No fast food, very little processed sugar, no empty carbs - the goal is good food that is good for me. Since I started eating “clean” I have so much more energy – I used to be sleepy every afternoon at work, so tired I would doze off at the keyboard. That hasn’t happened in months.

Rule 6 – I never said no to carbs, I never stopped eating them. I did switch from empty carbs to better carbs. I try to include whole wheat bread (note, not just wheat bread, WHOLE wheat bread), sweet potatoes, whole wheat pasta or brown rice every day. My carb grams are normally 100 a day, way over what Atkins considers okay even in maintenance mode. Although all people are different, in my case, staying at 100+ grams of carbs didn't stop weight loss AT ALL and allowed me to keep eating the foods I love - key to sustainable weight loss.

Rule 7 - Fat is a good thing, it makes hair shiny and protects organs and brain. I wouldn’t run out and eat a tub of butter or anything, but I do eat healthy fats like olive oil, peanut butter, dairy (low fat yogurt, cheese), and nuts. I try to eat a handful of nuts every day (walnuts or almonds).

Rule 8 – Drinking – no empty calories. I stick to water and tea, with the occasional non fat, sugar free coffee drink treat. Juice isn't bad for you, but I'd rather eat the fruit - get the healthy fiber and stay full longer. I do miss the occasional glass of red wine in the evening - it's definitely going BACK on the menu for maintenance mode.

Rule 9 – The hardest part for me has been incorporating some kind of exercise – I hate it! I try to do my aerobics/toning tapes at least 5 times a week. I realize the next logical step is to add weight training. Additional muscle mass is very good for me long term! I’ve taken the first baby steps to joining a gym.

Rule number 10 - Don't be hungry. I figure, if I’m hungry, I’m doing it wrong. I count calories now and never go below 1600 (I have recently increased daily calories to 1800 and weight is still coming off). If your calories drop low enough to trick your body into thinking there’s a famine – your body thinks that you are a Paleolithic hunter gatherer who can’t find any roots. Your body will work really hard save you from starvation, it will hold on to the calories in a baby carrot for months if it thought it would help you survive a famine. If you starve yourself, your body will BINGE when it gets a chance, that’s the way we are genetically created. Did the Paleolithic hunter gatherer not stuff themselves on mammoth if they got lucky enough to get one? (oh no, I’ll just eat this root) Heck no, they ate the whole thing and sucked the marrow. We are fighting 450K years of genetics! I eat a lot of small meals and eat before I get hungry! Your body has to know there is tons of food coming in, there is no famine or starvation, it can release the stored fat reserves – you DON’T NEED THEM.

Rule 11 - Plan plan plan plan. I plan and shop so I have healthy food on hand all the time. I plan for meals, I plan for snacks. John and I sit down on Sunday night and menu plan/grocery stop for the entire week. I keep dried fruit/nuts around for quick boosts. I go to the store at least 3 times a week. I buy food, use plastic baggies to portion it into one size servings. I ALWAYS HAVE options for healthy eating. I have a couple of healthy frozen dinners at home, I have some of that tomato/roasted red pepper soup on hand at work, I have dried fruit stashed at home/work for healthy snacks. On Sunday nights, I make veggie dip and portion it out for the weeks. I cut up 5 days of veggies for snack. I’m never without something healthy to eat. The house is 100% a junk-free zone.

Rule 12– I weigh only ONCE a week. Weight fluctuates too much during the week. A glass of water is HEAVY. Dinner is HEAVY. When I weighed myself every day (sometimes 2, 3 times a day during unsuccessful weight loss attempts) I was so discouraged if the scale moved up. Why bother to work so hard if it just wasn’t WORKING! I might as well eat a donut. Now that I weigh ONCE a week, I see positive results. The scale can be cruel – I use a tape and measure myself once a month and record the results. I just had a 9 week plateau where the weight didn’t move at all – I stayed positive and didn’t give up – I expected weight loss to really slow down once I wasn’t carrying around a 50 lb fat backpack every day.

Rule 13 – I gave myself permission to be a pain in the ***. I'm the coworker that doesn't want to go out for Mexican. I'm the girlfriend that doesn't want to order pizza. If coworkers and friends want to eat crap, I tell them to go have a nice time and I do my own thing. I say no to coworker's birthday cake, I am firm when I remind coworkers NO I do not want a piece of their chocolates they got in Ireland. I am the unfriendly food girl around my office and I have lost 54 lbs and I am OKAY with that!

Rule 14 - Incremental goals - I set 10 lbs goals and rewarded myself nicely every goal. My rewards have included: new sandals, massage, fancy haircut at an expensive salon, new clothes. When I wanted to lose 60 lbs, it was just so big and overwhelming, I had to break it up into small chunks that felt doable.

Rule 15 – I have before pictures, I keep track of measurements, I chart my progress with an Excel spreadsheet. I try on my old pants from last summer and they fall straight down. I stay motivated by seeing how far I’ve come.

I absolutely could not have done with without John’s support – he has complete embraced healthy eating, helps me keep the house junk free (I’m lucky he’s not a snacky person) and looks at cooking with as many super foods as possible as a “challenge.”
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Old 05-27-2005, 04:50 PM   #3
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Default What I'm grateful for

I am really grateful to the following things which helped me to lose weight:

1. I love fruits and vegetables and I don't like sugary soda. I didn't really realize what a huge advantage that was.

2. I don't binge. Although in my past, I've had some bingey moments, not one incident since I made over my life back in July.

3. I don't crave sweets. This is very weird for me, but all last week there was a huge pile of pastries at the back of the conference room and I honestly wasn't tempted at all. I made it through Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's Day and Easter with ZERO candy - this from the person who could eat a bag of Hershey's Kisses! It wasn't that I didn't eat them so much as it is - I didn't WANT them. Not even my beloved PEEPs (that I could eat a box of in one sitting).

4. I like the taste of plain green and black tea.

5. John - for making it so easy to eat healthy at home, for not bringing junk and snacks into the house, for cooking healthy foods, for menu planning and grocery shopping. For knowing all the Super Foods, for listening to me babble about foods and calories and food choices and being supportive.

6. Having a refrigerator and a microwave at work, having a little cafeteria downstairs with healthy soup/salad choices for lunch.

7. The funds to eat healthy - this stuff is expensive.

8. Time in my life to plan, shop, make snacks, pack lunches.

9. Doing some physical activity. As much as I don't like exercise, I'm proud of myself every morning I drag myself out of bed to work out at 6.

10. I don't know if it's willpower or what honestly, but whatever is helping me STICK TO THIS. It's been 10 months, I still feel great, no urge to eat unhealthy foods, no cravings for fast food. I can still say no to candy at work. I have no idea why I'm so successful, but I'm so grateful.
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Old 05-27-2005, 05:18 PM   #4
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congrats on the loss. You look great. Thanks for sharing your story.

Halloween Goal

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Old 05-28-2005, 05:53 AM   #5
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I am going to print this off. I have been so discouraged lately, gaining and losing the same 10 pounds over and over. I had read about the "superfoods" before, and then forgot about them. Your story is so inspiring. Thank you.
1 angel for every 5 pounds lost

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Old 05-28-2005, 05:54 AM   #6
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You look great, by the way!
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Old 05-28-2005, 07:34 AM   #7
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Wow, congratulations! You look so healthy and happy in your pictures....

What you just wrote is powerful. Make sure you print off a copy for yourself so in a year or so, if you feel down or stress tempts you to eat unhealthy, you have your own words to lift you up.

Great Job! :clap: :clap:

"Sweat is the fountain of youth.....bathe daily"

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Old 05-28-2005, 07:57 AM   #8
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GREAT JOB !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You look wonderful

Courage doesn't always roar.
Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying,
"I will try again tomorrow."
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Old 06-16-2005, 01:16 AM   #9
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Default What a fantastic story! Inspiring tips! Thanks!

Glory, I love your story! Thanks so much for sharing. Your changes are very, very similar to mine, except I'm not quite as organized and I haven't been as strict about sugar. Funny, but the sugar is the very thing that's causing me the little difficulty right now (which is surprising to me, because I never had a huge sweet tooth). I recently made a new promise to cut it out for two weeks to see if that helps, but I keep forgetting and putting it in my tea! Your story has me inspired to really focus again. I, too, am thankful that I don't like sugary sodas, and love fruit and vegetables. Lucky me! Also, I haven't found it hard at all to go with all whole grain breads and pastas. I was doing that a lot before I started trying to lose weight. I am trying to learn to like green tea, and have found that I like it better if I steep it for at least one minute, but not over 2 minutes--not so bitter. And journaling and keeping track of all the food I eat, and using fitday.com to really know what kinds of foods I'm needing to add for the day has REALLY helped. I feel so good these days!

Anyway, I could go on and on about the similarities between your success story and mine in the making, but I won't. I'm just happy to thank you for the renewed inspiration. SO glad you shared, and SO glad I found this thread!

Weight Loss Start Date: March 15, 2005

Goal for the End of January:

Ultimate Goal:

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Old 06-19-2005, 04:12 PM   #10
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Old 06-19-2005, 05:29 PM   #11
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This is perfect! Thank you sooo much! I am following the same "plan" (if you can call it that) you have and even though it's only been a month the changes in how I feel and my weight have been incredible. Everyone keeps asking me what I am doing and I have had SUCH a hard time explaining it. THIS IS IT EXACTLY. Now I can just print it off and hand it to them. THANK YOU for writing this!
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Old 06-21-2005, 04:15 PM   #12
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Wow, what a gift you have for communicating! Bravo, Glory !!!

I have been aware of these foods and use them heavily in what I do too. It is amazing what happens when we nourish our bodies, rather than just fill it with empty calories! Congrats and you look beautiful!

May I ask for your recipe for the tomato/red pepper soup? That sounds like a fantastic combination....Thanks!
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Old 06-22-2005, 02:51 AM   #13
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Printing this off too... Very inspirational! Congatulations on your healthy lifestyle changes, and weight loss.

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Old 06-22-2005, 08:20 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by maggie2005
May I ask for your recipe for the tomato/red pepper soup? That sounds like a fantastic combination....Thanks!
Thanks for the kind comments everyone I'm still fighting to lose the last annoying 2 lbs, so your comments are really really motivating!

Maggie2005, I keep the tomato/red pepper soup in my office for emergencies, it comes in a box!! The brand is Pacific - here's a link:


I've tried the Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato, Creamy Tomato, and Creamy Roasted Carrot - all are good! I want to try the Butternut Squash soup too.

Originally Posted by Solus
Everyone keeps asking me what I am doing and I have had SUCH a hard time explaining it. THIS IS IT EXACTLY. Now I can just print it off and hand it to them. THANK YOU for writing this!
It is so hard to come up with a short version - sometimes I call it the "Eat good food, avoid bad food, work out and drink tons of green tea" diet.

Since I originally posted, I got a tattoo to help me stay focused and committed. The tattoo is a Chinese proverb that means "Dripping water can eat through stone" to help me remember it's every tiny step that leads to success. Here's a link to a picture (it's freshly done with a tiny bit of blood, so don't click if blood freaks you out). John took the picture in extreme close up so it looks enormous, it's less than 3 inches long, down my spine:


A tattoo is a HUGE step for me. I am not funky. I am about as plain and boring of a person as you can imagine - I was the secretary of the National Honor Society in high school, I was in the marching band!

I have really thought long and hard about this. Before I thought about tattoos and could never think of anything so meaningful I would want it dyed into my skin forever. This...this is different. I want this reminder, I want this to be permanent, I want this to be a motivator. I want this to say DO NOT #Bleep# THIS UP.

It is very meaningful to me - it represents all the hard work this year, I have never given up, not for one second. I kept making changes, both big and little to be the healthiest person I can be.

Last edited by Glory87; 06-22-2005 at 08:38 PM.
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Old 06-22-2005, 10:08 PM   #15
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((( thunderous applause)))) what a great motivator you are!!

It's all in the attitude!

"This isn't a dress rehearsal, it is your final performance"

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