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Hello fellow Sparkers!
I heard about this site from my sister probably two or three years ago, but at the time I was convinced I didn't need it. I finally came around to reality and signed up. I should probably offer a disclaimer: I tend to write walls of text, so I'm not sure how long this will turn out to be.
I'm 34 and have "offically" been trying to get my weight under control on and off since I was 25. I have a very bad habit of only sticking to a plan for 4-6 months at a time before giving up in frustration and letting old bad habits take over. I don't remember what my weight was when I was 25, I just knew I had my wedding coming up and I was making it my goal to get under 200, so I imagine I started in the 220s. I weighed myself the morning of my wedding and was 199. This was in 2004.
Unfortunately, the downward trend did not continue. Hubby has done probably 95% of the cooking and he was taught to cook by his mother. Portion control was nothing that either of us were ever taught - both his parents and mine are overweight. As much as I'd like to throw the blame on lack of education (the health classes in my high school and college were not very good) I also know that as a child/teenager it would have gone in one ear and out the other because I was twiggy-thin and could eat an entire frozen pizza in one sitting and not gain an ounce.
Fast forward to 2006 - I've had a new job for about a year at this point and realize I need to make another go at it, so I join the local branch of LA Weight Loss, where I discovered that my weight had ballooned up to 264. The plan worked exactly as designed and within 6 months I was down to 229-230, but then I got tired of having to journal everything and the bad habits crept back in. The branch eventually closed and I was once again on my own. By this point hubby had become frustrated with needing to measure everything out and started cooking "his way" again.
Fast forward again to...honestly, I have no idea when the next bout of trying to control my weight happened. I want to say it was spring 2008 or 2009. I hadn't weighed myself in a year or year and a half or more by that point and I thought I had been maintaining fairly well. Wrong! I got on the scale and it read 284...and I broke down in tears. I was closer to 300 than 250. I felt like a complete failure.
Within a week I had started trying to control the food intake again AND signed up for a gym membership where one of my friends from work worked as a personal trainer. She did a class a couple nights a week and I signed up, and slowly that number came down. I managed to get it down to 239 or 240 before I fell off the wagon yet again.
I managed to keep my weight between 250 and 265 for a long time afterward, before I finally decided I need to take another swing at it and make it work, hopefully for good.
I decided one thing that has most likely been holding me back from taking this more seriously is I kept referring to my current weight relative to my highest weight of 284...I'd say "well, I'm still down 30"..."well, I'm still down 25"....etc. Therefore upon joining this site I'm making a clean break of it, and my weight when I signed up is now considered my starting weight. Hopefully this helps me give it a fresh outlook.
I've read through a lot of the articles and I've been lurking on the forums since I joined, and so many of your stories are so motivational...I hope that the community aspect is what makes this work for me this time.
With the history out of the way, I do have a couple questions for anyone who would care to answer.
For one, so many of you have those cute little meters in your signatures. I can't find the option to set one. Is there a guide somewhere on setting that up?
For two, a topic that seems to surface a lot...excess skin. I'm 5'9" with a medium build and aiming for a goal weight of 150 lbs, which will mean I'll have lost 134 lbs from my heaviest. I'm trying not to let it stand in my way, but I need someone to give me the honest truth about how "bad" it's going to be - preferably someone of a similar age/build, but I'll take any information I can get.
I'm not going insane on the exercise and doing Biggest Loser-caliber workouts or anything to slim down at light speed...I'm only hoping for an average loss of 1-2 lbs a week, and I'm mixing strength and cardio (I've read that this helps tighten things up a bit). I realize at 34 I'm not going to have the body I had at 19 and I would never expect to, but I think one of my biggest mental blocks is getting rid of the fear that I'm going to look utterly disgusting when the process is over. Surgery will not likely be an option.
Thanks everyone - hope we all have AWESOME days today!
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