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BRITOMART Posts: 8,070
1/14/13 6:42 P

BITHOO, how did you come up with the figure you need to lose? is it possible your body thinks the weight you are at is perfect, and will fight you to keep there?

As a general rule, the less to lose, the slower it comes off--that's independent of menopause, or any other slow-down factor. Add other factors, and it can mean even slower.

Beauty has nothing to do with weight; health can, however, and that's what you need to consider. Are you healthy? is your doc. happy with your weight? if both are 'yes,' and you still want to lose (which is fine!) then settle for slow--maybe join Bruce's "slowest loser" team (I'm impressed by that approach, even though I'm not on the team).

SIMARIA1 Posts: 383
1/14/13 2:11 P

Thank you for your kind words. Stay inspired!

LAURA67UGA Posts: 179
1/14/13 2:11 P

I agree 80-90% diet. If I am in burning mode I limit drinking to 1 day a week. As far as calories, I find most people rely on packaged food with can be off by as much as 20% and they don't weigh the food but use measuring cups etc which are also hard to standardize. I eat a lot and often, I try to keep to lean protein and veggies. I find substitutes to make sure I get be the best benefit. Like 1 whole egg and 3 egg whites scramble together beautifully (18gms protein, approx 130 calories) versus 2 whole egges at 140 calories w/ 12 grams. protein is really important and most women don't get enough. I also find varying my calories from 1200-1800 with most days being lower keeps my body guessing. The day I drink is a cheat day, I eat one meal of whatever I was craving, have a few drinks or a few smaller favorite items. Also its great to have a plan of exercise you like but your body needs variance and I am a huge proponent of weight lifting. It makes you smaller even at higher weights and I find the toning effect is often enough to make me much happier with my body. I say lift heavy as you are comfortable and in a circuit training style so you keep your heart rate up and it becomes cardio basically. I love the gym and mine is $20/month which is nothing compared to the benefits.

ZOEPOET88 SparkPoints: (67)
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1/13/13 10:42 P

I like your post it's inspirational!

SIMARIA1 Posts: 383
1/13/13 5:58 P

I read something that rang a bell in my spirit and it was "It is not what goes in a man that defiles him, it is what comes out" (The Bible). Your words are crucial to our success or failure not matter where we are positioned in life at the moment. When I have worked out, ate healthy, did all the right things and the scale does not respond, I continue to say "I am at my ideal weight". I am no longer competing with my body or what others think I should look like, that being said I continue to stay the course knowing that as I think so will I be! emoticon

1/12/13 9:39 P

Menopause sucks!

Edited by: BEMORESTUBBORN at: 1/14/2013 (12:19)
PUNKPOPTART SparkPoints: (1,163)
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Posts: 39
1/12/13 1:07 P

Have you tried giving up wheat? That's your best shot. Trust me, it works. What have you got to lose? Also, look up the "Wheat Belly" book on Amazon and read the reviews. It's not that hard of a "diet". My family members are losing weight like crazy cutting wheat from their diet when nothing else seemed to be working for them.

NOW_IM_IT Posts: 4,508
1/11/13 3:38 P

BITHOO Really glad to see your post-except for only 20 pounds overweight, I could have written it! I used to read posts about those who claimed they were unable to lose wt, and I figured they were just making excuses. And I'm sure some were, but now I know menopause changes things for some of us- I am proof of that!

I started SP in 2008, lost 75 pounds the first 2 years, although I worked at it, it was the easiest thing I'd ever done-just the right combination for ME!! And then menopause struck,
and the past 2 years have seen 20 pounds come back, even though I continued to eat healthy & exercise consistently!

I have said I would never give up, but there are days, like today, when I just want to throw in the towel, and say, What's the use? BUT I really long for those days when I felt good about myself, that feeling of accomplishment I had. Buying smaller clothes was nice too, but the belief that one day I would reach my goal weight was much better. Now I seriously doubt I'll get there.

I will continue to eat healthy & exercise too-they have become a part of me now, but I am just so tired...I know I can't just give up totally, I don't want to return to high blood pressure & taking pills everyday.

I'm thinking of making a dr's apt next week & checking the thyroid, but I really don't think that's my problem. I'm thinking it's all menopause & until someone has been through it exactly the same way, no one can understand. I am usually a very positive person, but lately it's really tough to stay that way!!

I hope everything turns out well for you!

COSMOANGEL SparkPoints: (8,483)
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1/2/13 4:56 P

I'm a premenopausal metabolic disaster. I spent most of 2012 trying to lose weight by following spark peoples 1500 calorie range and I ended up gaining 20 pounds. By October I was so discouraged and feeling so crappy about myself, I went to the doctor and was referred to a medical weight loss clinic. They started me out with a few easy guideline, like less carbs, more protein, only 200 calories from fruit, eat 200 calorie breakfast with at least 10 grams of protein and walk 30 minutes a day. They then did a whole lot of medical testing, and one thing they measured was my resting metabolic rate. Well turns out my rmr was like 1500 calories, which is pretty low. They calculated my eating plan and now I eat about 1100 to 1200 calories, breaking up into 5 or 6, 200 calorie meals/snacks. I am now losing weight and making sure I get a lot of good protein. The lesson I learned was that there is no one size fits all solution....especially when your body is hormonally haywire. If I just kept following what spark was telling me to do, I would probably still be gaining. So while there is a lot of good info on spark, I found that some of it was not right for me. For example, I was doing a lot of strength training, and I read on here over and over again that if you are doing strength training that you must make sure you get enough calories. Of course I followed that. I also heard that if you go below a certain amount of calories you will not lose weight. Logically I would never have a reason to question that advice. Well I do eat below that number, but track all my essential nutrients and make sure I get them in. If the doctor had not told me that this is ok for me I would never have considered it. Please note that I would never give this as advice, as I am only doing it because I am being closely monitored by doctors as part of my program, to ensure I am not losing muscle. I also found out for me, it is important to look at what I am specifically eating...eating 1500 calories of junk is not the same as eating 1500 calories of nutrient dense food. Even little tweeks, like eating fruits with lower frutcose, foods with different fat contents, staying away from wheat etc. has made a huge difference. Since I'm with this program I meet with a bariatric educator and a doctor every two weeks, where we go through my food logs and they have given me some great tips and I am constantly learning more. Another thing I learned is that losing weight and getting healthy is not simply calories in vs energy out. There are so many other factors that affect weight loss, I'm getting advice from some of the best obesity doctors and nutritionists in our country and they don't even have it figured out yet. I'm so blessed to be where I am and to have a medical system that covers the cost of this program. It has really helped a lot of people. I was hugely skeptical when I started and had all but given up, but when the scale moved a bit, its given me some hope which is helping me to take more baby steps.

CHRISTINASP Posts: 1,856
1/1/13 2:19 P

I don't have a lot of experience with intense workout inside my home. My gym membership just ended and I intend to find out if workouts at home 'work' for me.
Workouts in the gym are better because I will finish what I started, once I take the trouble to go there there's nothing else there to do or to distract me so I'll do the whole program and be done with it. I like that. At home I can quit when it gets too hard, I think. Or I may get distracted by telephone or stuff that I suddenly remember I 'must' still do.
The benefit of working out at home is that there is NO excuse not to do it. Getting to the gym, spending extra time to get there, to shower afterwards, talking with others there takes up a LOT of time and has been an excuse for me to not go, I just couldn't 'free' two hours to go exercise. When I am at home it's easier to 'just do it', I think. I will spare the time it takes me to get to the gym, to chat, and taking a shower is less ado when I'm at home.

Edited by: CHRISTINASP at: 1/1/2013 (14:21)
LOVEXAVIE SparkPoints: (42,668)
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1/1/13 10:56 A

Mix it up and see what moves YOU.
I'm an outside girl for the AM walk/jog. I need the fresh air, trees, sunrise and critters to stop and say hi to (I take dog & cat treats w/ me).

I have a bench and weights at home that I use, but for a real good full body, heavy weight work-out, I hit the gym about once a week. I see lots of people there using the elliptical & treadmill - some w/ their own TV screens. Maybe you'd like to take a class w/ a group - or do a video in the privacy of your own home.

Good luck!

GLITTERFAIRY77 Posts: 8,023
1/1/13 9:58 A

For me, inside works best. I've placed the recumbant stationary bike in the living room between the couch and the arm chair, which is very nearly directly across from the television. This makes the workout seem to fly by, especially if I start IN THE MIDDLE of a movie, or at the very start of a 30 minute program.

BITHOO SparkPoints: (12,215)
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1/1/13 9:06 A

THANK YOU SO MUCH, everyone, for your non-judgemental help on this thread!! I can't tell you how great it is to read real thoughts as opposed to "if you really wanted it it would happen."

One more question for you all:

I'm hearing: cut down on sweets and wine even when the calories fit the diet, increase protein, increase weights, increase intervals. done.

Do you guys find it easier to stick with more intense workouts when you're OUTside or INside your own home? It's easy for me to get through my "usual" routine on the treadmill and with handweights -- but changing up that routine might be hard for me.

CHRISTINASP Posts: 1,856
1/1/13 8:18 A

Bithoo, you asked: "Why would it be better, for example, to eat 150 calories in additional veg/fruit as opposed to enjoying a glass of wine and a dove chocolate at the end of the day?
I'm not going to lose weight any faster, and since I'm on target for everything except protein most days, they're not going to help with that. Sure, they're "healthier" -- but I don't look forward to yet more of the same!"

You may like to read the book 'Eat to Live' by Joel Fuhrman, it answers that question in a very motivating way! (Theres an 'Eat to live' team here at SP, also).

Your body may be 'DYING' to get the nutrients in vegetables and fruit in order to BE ABLE to shed the weight! Not saying it's so for sure, but it could be so!

LOVEXAVIE SparkPoints: (42,668)
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12/31/12 10:34 P


I, too, am glad for further clarification.

As mentioned by a PP, quality of food has a HUGE effect. That is why I mentioned the veggies, as it was UNREAL what an effect they had for me. I still ate meat, cheese, and yes, chocolate. I do tend to favor good quality sugar free chocolate or a good Dutch process cocoa to dip fruit in...I also track it in terms of calories. I just get creative about it but yep - I get my choco fix. Try to eat as "clean" as you reasonably can - don't depend on frozen diet dinners, etc (not that you do - just a general suggestion).

Have you entered in your starting weight to get Spark's calorie range? If not, do so - and never eat below that range! Like Archi always says: you need to eat to lose. I routinely ate at the high end of my range (and sometimes over) and still lost weight. Again - no matter what I was eating any particular day, I made sure I ate that bag o' veggies. I swear, it acted as an insurance policy of sorts and allowed me to go off plan occasionally w/ no ill effects! And that meant what I was doing didn't "seem" like a "diet!" Amen and hallelujah!

And no I do not work for the National Veggie Board (if there is such a thing).

Also agree you need to increase the weights. Leg presses are great, pull-downs for your lats, etc etc. Most of what "the guys" do but lighter weights. You want to lift heavy enough so you can do a minimum of 8 reps but no more than 12 (if you can do 12, increase the weight). You won't bulk up; I do 220 on the leg press and I don't look like Popeye. But I get a nice curve on my muscle which makes me happy.

One other thing: I did not use the Spark nutrition tracker (I just used a journal and recorded it on paper). I decided to try it this way first and see how it went....if it didn't seem to be working, I'd figure out how to use the tracker. Lucky for me, it worked as I was doing it. But others here will absolutely SWEAR by using the nutrition tracker. If what I was doing didn't work, I'd be all over that tracker like white on rice.

And since losing weight is really more based on the food - and quality thereof - we consume, if you haven't tried eating so many servings of veggies, give it a shot. If you haven't tried using the nutrition tracker, maybe try that. Experiment. We're all different.

As for the alcohol, only you can make that decision but for me, getting rid of those calories really helped as they were then freed up for good food. And it was easier to get up at 4:30 in the morning when I didn't consume 2 + glasses of Pinot the night before! I think I just fell into a's funny 'cause I don't miss it at all. If I go out w/ friends, I'll have a cocktail but just one. I thought I'd save all this money on not buying I spend it on the best quality produce I can afford! Oh well.

Whatever you do, just don't give up! Explore this site and see what new avenues you could try. We're all here to help and encourage you, too!

FITGLAMGIRL Posts: 2,045
12/31/12 9:07 P

I am having a very similar challenge. As I have aged, I can't seem to get these last 10 pounds off and reach my goal. What I have decided is that in order for me to reach my goal I am have to eat super lean and clean like a body builder would in order to take it off.

I have been stuck for over a year at the same weight and work out 6 days a week and eat no processed food, no fast food, no soda's, and make all our own food. I can maintian like no other, but for the life of me I can't get this weight off.

So I found a beginner body builder diet and started it. 3 days in and I have lost 2 pounds. YEAH! My goal is to stay on this for 12 weeks and see what happens. I haven't cheated at all. I get plenty of food, although it is rather boring. It's tuna, fish, chicken breasts, egg whites, veggies and fruits, and yogurt.

It's working so far though. Also I upped my cardio to medium to intense for 3 days a week and 3 days of weight training.

I do feel your pain!

SIMPLELIFE2 Posts: 707
12/31/12 6:13 P

Not all calories are created equal. Even if you included it in your tracker, you could do so at the expense of not consuming macro and micro nutrients, which your body needs to operate smoothly and efficiently. For example, "calcium is required for vascular contraction and vasodilation, muscle function, nerve transmission, intracellular signaling and hormonal secretion."

In addition, wine and chocolate are simple sugars, which your body stores more quickly as fat. Simple sugars, which include fruit, are converted to fat within 24 hours if not needed for energy. Complex carbohydrates, like oatmeal, will be available for 48 hours before storage, which gives you more opportunity to burn the calories before storage.

And you definitely need to be on track for your protein every day. As I mentioned, you really need to be building muscle and you need that protein to do that as well as repair damage. The wine and chocolate should give way to more protein like low-fat dairy or fish or nuts. Why not try limiting it to once (twice if you must) a week for a couple of months and see if it helps?

And you don't need to join a gym. I'm a proponent of body weight, free weight and band training because they mimic movements you are more likely to do in real life. You just need a bit of space. And a set of bands and/or stability ball are relatively inexpensive.

Here's some great tools to get you started:

Change happens when you make it happen. Make plans, not excuses. :-)

CECISMOMMY09 SparkPoints: (0)
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12/31/12 5:45 P

it's never time to give up!!!!!! Ive tried losing weight for a good 10 years and am just NOW learning what my body needs to lose weight..CONSISTENCY is key!! good luck!!!

BITHOO SparkPoints: (12,215)
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12/31/12 4:59 P

thanks, Simple. This is good advice, though hard to put into action! Easy enough to do intervals and/or increase walk time, harder to come up with and do a more strenuous weights/stretch program entirely on my own. Might consider a gym, though time and money make it tricky.

meanwhile, a question.

for the last several months, I tracked my food and portions religiously. Most of the time, I came in under my goal of 1400-1500 calories. I INCLUDED my wine/chocs in that calorie count. Why would it be better, for example, to eat 150 calories in additional veg/fruit as opposed to enjoying a glass of wine and a dove chocolate at the end of the day?

I'm not going to lose weight any faster, and since I'm on target for everything except protein most days, they're not going to help with that. Sure, they're "healthier" -- but I don't look forward to yet more of the same!

SIMPLELIFE2 Posts: 707
12/31/12 3:08 P

Thanks for further explanation. It does clarify your situation better. Our bodies are amazing machines and adapt to the specific demands placed on it, In the beginning, you saw changes because your body had not adapted yet. Your exercise activities and eating habits required additional energy (calories) and that's why you were successful.

But now, your body has fully adapted to your routine. It has found the balance between your exercise, which is burning fewer calories since your body is used to it, and what you are eating. Whether you want to or not, your body has found maintenance mode. There is an upside because maintenance is often harder than losing. When you reach your goal, you will be able to maintain.

What I would recommend is changing things up since it isn't working anymore. New demands will require further adaptations and more calorie burn. With your doctor's approval, I would up the time on the treadmill to about 45 minutes three days a week and do intervals for 30 minutes on the days between. For example, start doing an easy jog for 30 seconds, then walk 2 minutes. And increase the jog times as you progress.

Also, you should shake up your strength training. You need to focus on more than your arms, The treadmill is primarily cardio and really doesn't strengthen your legs or glutes. For that, you could do things like squats, lunges and step ups. Master the moves, then do them with your weights. You also need to get some heavier weights and incorporate moves for your shoulders and back as well. There's lots of great routines and videos on this site.

Sounds like your nutrition is good overall, but are you tracking your calories and watching portion sizes? And, don't shoot the messenger, but if you want to see results, cut back on that wine and chocolate to once a week at most until you move back into maintenance mode. You don't need to go to extremes, but it is time to bump it up a bit. Your body is telling that it is ready for it.

GLITTERFAIRY77 Posts: 8,023
12/31/12 1:47 P

I was 305lbs fom the end of the summer until the end of November/beginning of December. OH
did I want to throw in the towel...

However, my pants were looser. It was easier to get up the stairs. I had a bit more energy.
I am huge. I'm not ugly, but I'm definitely not healthy. I'm going to keep at this even if it takes me years. I've eaten HORRRRIIIIIBLLLLY this week, but I am NOT giving up. I've come too far.
Don't you give up either.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (194,596)
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Posts: 26,855
12/31/12 1:32 P


I agree with the others. Even though the scale might not be moving, that doesn't mean you're not making a change to your health. The scale is only one way to measure a person's success and it isn't always the best.

Here's something I've learned from my own years of yo yo dieting. Each time we lose and regain the weight, it gets harder to take the weight off. I've learned that's because each time we lose and regain, we teach our bodies to become more efficient at conserving fat. So, the older we get and keep yo yo dieting, the harder it's going to be to lose the weight.

Now, that doesn't mean it's impossible. It doesn't mean we have to eat 1,000 calories a day or run a marathon. BUT, it does mean we might have to try things we wouldn't normally try.

One thing I would suggest is challenging your muscles with a weight heaver than 8 pounds. Most women don't realize that some muscles are stronger than others. As a result, that 8 pounds might be challenging for some exercises, but easy for others. You might consider buying some 10, 12 or even 15 pound weight. I can assure you that you will NOT look like a body builder if you lift a heavy weight. If the weights are too expensive (and they can be pricey), buy a set of resistance bands. Resistance bands are an excellent way to strength train.

I'm no spring chicken anymore and I can't rave enough about strength training. It's changed my body and it can change yours too. A good strength training program can help you drop 1-2 clothing sizes without the scale budging. it's just a matter of increasing your lean muscle. And no, you are not too old to increase lean muscle. When women hit menopause, if they don't exercise, they lose lean muscle. That's no good because lean muscle drives our metabolism. So, if you want to change your body, don't be afraid to add some muscle.

It will take time, but you won't regret the extra strength training. I also recommend joining SERGEANTMAJORs resistance band team. He's got a bunch of beginner level resistance band routines posted. that will help you get started.

Also, if you increase the amount you exercise, you should increase the amount of food you eat. Many times women will decrease the amount they eat and increase the amount of exercise they do in hopes of speeding up their weight loss. This is no good. This can actually hinder a person's loss. So, depending on how many calories you've been eating each day, you might have to eat a bit more to see a loss. That's not unusual.

And if you do start a good strength training program, you'll need to eat more to supply your body with the energy it needs to lift. I'm a big believer that a person has to eat in order to lose weight.

I would try engaging in a good strength training program. Like I said, it can help you lose 1-2 clothing sizes without the scale moving. Losing inches would be a definite sign of success.

CHRISTINASP Posts: 1,856
12/31/12 1:15 P

I'd stop using a lot of different approaches and stick to the same lifestyle for a couple of months, so that it becomes clear if and how that works for you. In other words stop making changes but to register just what you are doing.
After that you might talk with a health coach or a dietician and see what changes you could make if you're not satisfied with how it's going.

I like the suggestion of process goals. It's what came to my mind too.

Menopause is ummm, well. Not so easy to deal with and indeed, our bodies do change and surprise us. But my thought is that it's too early yet to draw a final conclusion like it's hopeless.

I can also say that sometimes though, it works well to stop struggling, and say 'I accept this as it is". I once did that when I was 227 lbs - I gave up on trying to push and force myself. Not long after that I found a lifestyle that helped me lose weight much faster than I'd expected. I didn't keep all the weight that I lost back then off, but didn't gain it all back, either and I learned a lot about myself, my body and how I need to eat.
My point is that if we're totally focused on a desired effect sometimes we need to stop fighting something and let go before change can happen.

It's good that you are 'only' 20 lbs overweight and not more. I think you may be proud of yourself for trying so many things and for not gaining more weight. So do please consider yourself beautiful (no matter what your weight is). And don't let weight issues spoil your day.

Edited by: CHRISTINASP at: 12/31/2012 (13:20)
BITHOO SparkPoints: (12,215)
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Posts: 422
12/31/12 12:58 P

Thanks, Simple. What you're describing isn't a "new plan," it's exactly what I've been doing for most of my life! It just isn't working anymore.

Just to explain -- I have never had a problem with weightloss in the past. Over the past two years, each attempt has lasted at LEAST 3 months, with little or no outcome -- FAR longer than ever necessary in prior years.

I have always exercised. At present, I walk 3.5-4.0 miles per hour on the treadmill about 5 days per week for about 25 minutes. In addition, I lift light (8 lb) weights for arms, and do about 5 minutes of flexibility exercises. When I can, I take the walking outside. I also make a point, as they say, of parking farther from things, using stairs, etc. (my home is up a story, so bringing home groceries for 4 is a mini-workout!).

I've also eaten well all my life -- not perfectly, but heavy on the veg and fruit and lean meats, lots of home cooking, whole grains. Oatmeal, yogurt, eggs. Tofu stir fries. that sort of thing. I am not a binger, I don't drink soda, I don't eat fast food, I am not afraid of moderate exercise. I am not depressed (well, maybe a little today!), and my thyroid is borderline but normal.

Bottom line is, baby steps are not doing it. I'm healthy -- but I'm about 20 pounds overweight. I am moderate in my approach (except the brief fling with Transitions, just to see if flour, sugar, etc. made a difference - and it doesn't).

I can continue with the same approach, but you know what they say about the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting a different result!


SIMPLELIFE2 Posts: 707
12/31/12 12:14 P

First, have you had a complete medical workup to ensure that you have no issues that may be hindering you? Unless there is some underlying problem or you are a freak of nature, you *can* lose weight. You just have to find your solution. I would start with reframing your outlook. How can you possibly succeed if you've already convinced yourself you can't?

I would change your goals from outcome-based -- losing a set number of pounds -- to process goals. Process goals are ones that you can control and track. For example, I will drink 8 glasses of water a day. I will walk for 30 minutes a day on the treadmill. I will eat 2 more servings of veggies. Set up your process goals, which you can do on this site, and you can see yourself succeeding daily. Those successes will add up. Step on the scale and do your measurements initially and ignore them for 6 to 8 weeks. This is the time it takes for the body to start making changes and you appear to get discouraged if you're not seeing results.

From your post, it sounds like you are trying to move from one fix to the next without giving anything time to work and not expecting anything to work. "Post-menopausal body" although this is a factor, it isn't an excuse. I think the biggest issue among woman this age is the loss of muscle mass that naturally occurs with age unless you actively intervene. Fat takes up more space and just sits there. Muscle is more compact, making you appear smaller at the same weight, and it is metabolically active, so it burns calories even at rest. This is why the metabolism slows down with age, but it isn't permanent or unchangeable.

You don't have to do anything extreme -- and anything fewer than 1,200 calories, colon cleanses, fasts, etc. are ineffective and can be dangerous. You don't talk about your exercise routine or limitations, (check with your doctor, of course) but most people find walking a good place to start and then add two or three days of strength training, Don't overlook incorporating flexibility and balance components as these are very functional as we age.

Instead of giving up, start the new year with a new outlook and a new plan. And you should resolve to love yourself at any weight. Best wishes on your journey. You can succeed.

SP_COACH_NANCY SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 46,222
12/31/12 12:04 P


It took me a solid 3 1/2 years to lose 80 pounds...much slower than many people, however, I relished the time it took me because I finally let go of the diet mentality I was stuck in for well over 30 years of my life. I reached my so called goal size (I do not own a scale--the scale only tells me how much I weigh and nothing more) 4 1/2 years ago and I must say my body, just like a fine wine, is continually changing depending on the goals I have set for myself.

Take time to appreciate where you are right now...not where your were 5-10 years ago and not where you would like to be, but where you are right at this moment and then if you feel you need to incorporate changes into your lifestyle begin with baby steps and keep moving forward.

Here's to a happy and healthy 2013!

Coach Nancy

BITHOO SparkPoints: (12,215)
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Posts: 422
12/31/12 11:53 A

I really haven't done anything miserable: lots of tasty homemade veggie soups and curries; lots of nuts, fruits, and beans, along with chicken, lean pork, lean beef (with some celebratory additions here and there). I also enjoy a glass of wine and a couple of dove chocolates most nights. I do 1/2 hour a day on the treadmill or outside, with light weight lifting and some additional dancing, etc. In the past, this fairly sensible approach worked well; now it just doesn't.

I don't know what I need to make a change, but (except in the last few weeks when I've been so utterly frustrated!), I've been sticking to a pretty definite 1500 calorie diet, which is manageable for the long term. It just isn't effective anymore. I maintain my weight, but I don't lose.

That's why I'm wondering whether the best choice is to say "I'll eat right, exercise, and live with whatever weight/size that lifestyle creates," or whether I need to live on a permanent diet!

LOVEXAVIE SparkPoints: (42,668)
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12/31/12 11:43 A


In Aug 2011, I was wondering if I should just forget about losing the 50 lbs or so I'd packed on....just accept where I was or - maybe - look into surgical means. After all, I was of a certain age and had already lost it and gained it back...twice!

Then I found Spark. I lurked...absorbed....hung around in not just the Panic boards but also totally soaked up the Woo-Hoo and Success areas, figuring the best way to be a success was to learn from those who were successful.

For me, I think three things were key: having an a-w-f-u-l photo for my "ah-ha" moment; ditching my nightly glass(es) of wine and really ramping up the veggies. When I wrapped my head around that, things fell into place! I don't even miss the wine (would rather eat than drink my calories) and cannot even believe what an impact the veggies have had (about 9 servings a day - oh, did I mention you get better skin & hair and fewer colds?). I was NOT a veggie lover before, either.

Lastly, I don't weigh myself as at age 49, I was so "done" w/ that kind of drama. I use the dropping clothing sizes as my guide and couldn't be happier. For me, that was the better option. Also, I had always exercised (mainly walking and some weightlifting) but as I learned here on Spark (and especially for me as I aged), "You can't outrun a poor diet." Weight loss really is about 80% what you put in your mouth; 20% exercise.

While I increased the exercise a bit (mainly in intensity - I jog a lot more now), I am not doing anything crazy that I cannot keep up with for crazy punishing extreme work-outs for this girl!

All I can say is, if what you're doing feels utterly miserable, you're doing it wrong! When it's right, it will not feel so awful! Yes, you will have challenges but it shouldn't be torturous.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over & over and expecting different results.
So go back and read the success stories...the woo-hoo posts....picture that being you and stay positive. Encourage others. Quit doing what you've been doing that wasn't yielding results.

Truly, diets don't work. Drop the dieting mentality. When I finally *got* that is really is a lifestyle and not a diet, it started working. I eat a lot! None of this starvation / naked carrot sticks stuff - blech! It was almost painless (at least compared to my past experiences). Certainly the easiest & most relaxed way I've ever gone about it and I'm keeping it off.

Just don't give up...keep tweaking...try things (like the veggies) even if you don't *think* you'll like it at first. I am living proof that you CAN teach an old dog new tricks!

Good luck to you!!

BITHOO SparkPoints: (12,215)
Fitness Minutes: (3,359)
Posts: 422
12/31/12 11:38 A

Yup, that's my problem. I've tried so many different approaches for the last two years that I'm becoming convinced that there is some sort of "set point" I can't overcome.

I say that because, in the past, ALL these approaches have worked -- I NEVER had trouble taking off a few pounds.

NOW, it's as if my body has become unchangeable.

If you've experienced this strange change, and overcome it, I'd love to hear your words of wisdom (assuming that they don't involve "eat no more than 1,000 calories a day" or "train for a marathon!).

ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (189,377)
Fitness Minutes: (184,189)
Posts: 15,736
12/31/12 11:21 A

"if not, how do you re-focus for the new year, knowing that you're unlikely to succeed in the long term?"

THAT is your problem. If you don't believe you will succeed, then you most definitely will not.

BITHOO SparkPoints: (12,215)
Fitness Minutes: (3,359)
Posts: 422
12/31/12 10:59 A

when you've tried multiple weight loss programs for multiple months apiece, and find that your post-menopausal body is utterly unresponsive, is it time to decide "big is beautiful" and resolve to love yourself 20 pounds overweight??

if not, how do you re-focus for the new year, knowing that you're unlikely to succeed in the long term?

Over the last 12 months I've tried weightwatchers... transitions... sparkpeople tracking and exercise. I've tracked every calorie, and tried no flour, no fat, no sugar...

When is it time to say "oh well," and get on with life?

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