Thank you, thank you for sharing your story. In reading about your journey I now realize I am an all or nothing person and realize this is why I've been close to my goal three times and my life and always gained a good portion of the weight back. I have just started my journey "again" but I will make it to my goal this time. Good luck to you as your life long journey continues and keep using your all or nothing attitude as a good tool instead of a weapon against yourself.
Congratulations on such a great achievement. Thanks for posting this; I've been "trying to lose weight" but after reading your post I realize I've only been pretending to as I've managed to not take advantage of the tools available to me. Keep it up; you're an inspiration to many of us to stop making excuses and take action
Awesome! Thanks so much for sharing and congrats on your success!
Fitness Minutes: (2,085)
20 11/15/12 8:34 A
Great work! THank you so much for sharing your journey and reflections here. I have about 75lbs to lose and everythign you wrote hit home...Thank you!! My last lb was 200, but I was so upset about it and going the wrong way for a diabetic to lose weight, I went to 205 before I started making progress..on the downward path now and super-appreciate your sharing that it IS possible and that you didn't get hurt while achieving your goals...your words really helped me today.
Fitness Minutes: (49,914)
5,250 11/15/12 8:28 A
Great, helpful insights!
Fitness Minutes: (79,495)
1,720 11/15/12 8:03 A
You have learned so much about yourself and in so doing have made yourself so much better. You are doing an amazing job! Keep up the good work! You are an inspiration!
I could copy your post almost word for word, substituting husband for wife. I lost 65 pounds over the last year after many, many, MANY hours of hard work on our treadclimber and tracking every bite that went into my mouth. I could not have done it without my husband...or without the Spark People app on my phone. It feels great, doesn't it! Stay the course and continue to take one day at a time. You took control of your life.
Indeed, you DID inspire another Spark person, so thank you for writing and best wishes for a successful maintenance. Remember that you don't have to maintain the whole rest of your life. Just do it for about 50 years and then you can eat all the butter tarts you want!
Fitness Minutes: (17,322)
1,837 11/15/12 6:35 A
Awesome ! Thanks for sharing your journey with us.
WOW! Congrats! You should be so proud of yourself!
Fitness Minutes: (16,232)
385 11/15/12 5:39 A
Thank you everyone for your support and feedback! For the first time in my life, I feel like I have a 'support system' for maintenance that will help me going forward - the community here at Sparkpeople.
Fitness Minutes: (54,048)
3,151 11/15/12 5:34 A
I think you are right on restaurants, even the healthy options can clock in at 500 cal per portion
I think we have all been on this journey! And it is a daily struggle, but one that is certainly worth doing for your health and well being. I have been doing this for two weeks and am feeling great.
Fitness Minutes: (32,016)
6,263 10/20/12 9:30 A
This is fantastic!!! Thank you for sharing!!
Fitness Minutes: (4,545)
925 10/19/12 1:00 P
Thank you for posting! You are an inspiration to all!!! I remember seeing the scale hit 200 once in my life and then back to 198 the next day..that got me to lose 32..then gained it back and then some after wedding....205 and I said the same thing NOT ANOTHER G-D POUND!!!! I only hope to keep focused like you and yes we all have our off days, fall off the wagon, but we gotta use our inner strength to climb back on (even if we don't have the arm strength lol)
Keep up the great work!!!
Fitness Minutes: (120)
2,171 10/19/12 12:38 P
Congrats Stephen! I can definitely relate to a lot of your reflections especially these:
"- Track everything you eat. But don't lie to yourself. You can lie to your boss, your friends, your family, but don't lie to yourself. If you ate a candy bar, write it down. "
"- I live life all-or-nothing. It is who I am. It often doesn't serve me well, but like a weapon, it can be very helpful if aimed in the right direction. This will be my battleground in keeping the weight off...if I try to deny it, I'll be back to 240 in a year. "
And, even coming from a foodie and a restaurant snob like myself: "- Restaurants are the devil. Of course, because of social rules and just plain fun, they can't be avoided. But for the most part, when my plan went off the rails, I could trace it to restaurant food (yes, even the 'healthy' options). I have to plan around my restaurant visits, being diligent before/after in my other food. "
Fitness Minutes: (32,647)
653 10/19/12 12:33 P
Awesome! Congratulations! I can identify with much in your post, you are so not alone!
Fitness Minutes: (72,330)
6,852 10/19/12 11:59 A
You have done lots of things well. A 75-lb. loss in 6 months is great. You had to really work at it to get those results. Congratulations.
Thank you for posting this, I found it very interesting. Congratulations on your progress and success. Well done.
Fitness Minutes: (35,097)
2,167 10/19/12 11:47 A
Fitness Minutes: (16,232)
385 10/19/12 11:27 A
I have finally arrived at a BMI that puts me into a "healthy" weight range. Although I have not quite yet met my final target, I want to post this as a reflection on a journey that started 6 months and 75 pounds ago. I have done some things right, some things wrong, learned alot, gone forwards, backwards...perhaps in reading this, someone can learn something that might helps them, or learn what not to do.
I am a 5'8" 40 year old man who, in April, was 240 lbs (obese using any measure you like), and had BP and cholestrol problems as well as aches, pains, and chronic back issues. As of this post, I am at 167 lbs, run 8kms or rollerblade 18kms five days/week, play rec sports, have ideal blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and have lost 12 inches around my waist.
As a caveat, I don't and have never believed in a one-size-fits-all to health. If anyone claims to have the key for everyone, be very skeptical. The lessons learned for me below are applicable to me and my body...and may not apply to you and your body, or your psyche.
Some random reflections:
- I had to hit rock bottom to do what was necessary to get healthy. "Not a G.D. pound more!" is what went through my head when I saw 240lbs on the scale, after going through much of my adult life around 160lbs.
- I have a very supportive wife, who never pushed me or guilted me into anything. Without her, I'm not sure this would have been possible...or at least, it would have taken much longer.
- I had to block out the chorus of voices telling me "everying in moderation"...at the beginning. Yes, this is a good approach in the long run. But until I saw serious results, "moderation" for me was code for "slacking"...I could easily 'moderate' myself right back to the couch and into the Hagen Daas. So when a friend said "ah cmon, just one bite" or "ah cmon, just one beer", I stuck to my guns for the first couple of months...and am glad for it.
- I didn't realize the body could recover from years of abuse. But it can. Cholesterol levels, BP, fitness, muscle tone...it all gets better. Never think that mountain is too big to climb.
- Track everything you eat. But don't lie to yourself. You can lie to your boss, your friends, your family, but don't lie to yourself. If you ate a candy bar, write it down.
- I didn't know that I could get myself off of salt. Salt was like crack to me. But now I can barely stand restaurant food, for all the salt. This was a shock.
- I now love the taste of veggies without dips, sauces, dressings, or even seasoning. It just took some time to train my taste buds.
- Restaurants are the devil. Of course, because of social rules and just plain fun, they can't be avoided. But for the most part, when my plan went off the rails, I could trace it to restaurant food (yes, even the 'healthy' options). I have to plan around my restaurant visits, being diligent before/after in my other food.
- The more decadent the food, the more slowly I have to eat. I had to be very very conscious of this...because otherwise I could inhale 4 of my Aunt's butter tarts faster than you can say "trans-fat".
- I live life all-or-nothing. It is who I am. It often doesn't serve me well, but like a weapon, it can be very helpful if aimed in the right direction. This will be my battleground in keeping the weight off...if I try to deny it, I'll be back to 240 in a year.
- I like playing games. Your food tracking can be a fun game if your think of it as such. It makes it much easier to say "no!".
- There exist magical foods. Fish, apples, asparagus, brocolli, avacado, spinach. There is so much good in these foods. My mother was right.
- During the last 7 months, I took a 2-week trip to Ireland and also got married. Neither event derailed me, and I treated myself during both, with the goal of "holding the fort". I learned that sometimes holding the fort is good enough.
- I have to ignore the negative voices in my head, because sometimes they lie. Examples: "If you jog one more step, you will injure yourself." "I don't need to exercise today...I'll just eat less later." "Maybe my body just doesn't want to lose more weight, so I can stop trying." "Maybe the doctors and dieticians are wrong."
- Sometimes it hurts. There is no easy way to lose 30% of your weight. Ever.
- Walking. Lots of walking. Is there an easier, more effective exercise on the planet?
- Like Cortez burning his ships, I have donated to charity every bit of my clothing that no longer fits (even the 'temp' clothes during weight loss). No retreat now. I can't afford to regret that.
- Absolutely essentials: electric steamer George Forman grill a good knife plug-in cooler for my car good walking shoes tupperware Greek yogurt
- I thought bread was the enemy (I LOVE bread)...but I was wrong. The super grainy cracked wheat flax type stuff tastes great, and hasn't slowed me down at all.
- I thought that fewer calories in always meant losing weight. WRONG. I've learned that, with the right foods, you need to reach those minimum ranges, and go farther when exercising. Too little intake will derail your plan. I got dizzy, needed to suddenly sleep, and hit a plateau before I learned this lesson.
- I was skeptical when my wife tried to get me to join her on SparkPeople. I was tracking on my own spreadsheet, not very scientifically, but getting good results. BUT since using the nutrition/fitness trackers here, and from reading the articles and forums, I have done much better more efficiently. This website has played a major part in my weight loss.
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