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As long as I can remember, I've had a weight problem. I was overweight in childhood, teenhood and now adulthood. I was always hungry and tired. I've always been a dieter too, a yoyo'ing one at that.

I think things took a sharp turn way downhill after the birth of my first child. He was born two months early and spent two weeks in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. That was the most stressful time of my life and post-partum depression set in big time. I, at least, had the sense to see the doctor for that though. With a newborn to take care of, the tiredness became constant and I thought, "This is what they meant when they said new moms are always tired." I gained 40 lbs with my son and lost 20 lbs by my checkup. It was shortly after that that I started gaining again. There wasn't any change in my eating habits which were pretty poor and I blamed it all on lack of sleep and lack of nutrition. Well, as a new mom, I put my son before myself but at least I was taking a multivitamin, right?? Wrong.

When I went back to work, I *had* to go take a nap in the break room so that I could get through the rest of the day. In the previous months, it didn't occur to me that there was something wrong but after weeks of needing to take naps on my lunch break, I decided to see my doctor. I thought I was becoming a diabetic because I felt the way one would feel when your blood sugar drops too low.

My doctor discovered, through blood tests, that I was hypothyroid. I thought, "At last! The answer!" Was it? Yes and no. I was put on thyroid medication but it took about a year to find the correct one for me and even longer to regulate my thyroid levels. By then, I was over 300 lbs. My thyroid levels were regulated, I was watching my caloric intake, exercizing when I could....but I wasn't losing weight. I got so frustrated that I binged on junk for a while until I decided to take a stab at the South Beach Diet.

I wanted and needed to start the South Beach Diet but I didn't do it without a lot of reading, planning, worrying about what I could eat, etc beforehand. It was on October 11th, 2007 that I said, enough with the stalling. Four months later I'd lost 30 lbs, I had tons more energy and I also discovered that I am wheat/gluten intolerant. The first phase of the South Beach Diet acted as an elimination diet for me and thus I was able to discover that wheat was causing weight gain, headaches, water retention and a myriad of other symptoms that all succeeded in doing two things - keeping me fat and tired.

Now my diet consists of foods my body loves - poultry, lean meats, seafood, all sorts of veggies, fruit, eggs, nuts, healthy fats and lots of water. My exercise program consists of any Beachbody program. I absolutely love them and they give such a good workout. My favorite is still Turbo Jam.

Here are a few tips for success that I've used:

1. Drink that water! You need 8 cups of water a day AT MINIMUM. For optimal hydration, you need to drink about half your body weight in ounces. So, if you weigh 200 lbs, you need to drink 100 ounces of water a day.

2. Focus on whole foods, i.e. veggies, unprocessed lean meats, poultry, seafood, low fat milk, plain yogurt, low fat cheeses, eggs, beans, nuts, fruit, whole grains, healthy fats (olive oil, etc). Keep away from processed foods. They have all kinds of undesirables such as trans fats, tons of sodium, calories and saturated fats galore.

3. Stay above 1200 calories for women or 1500 calories for men. That is the threshold between starving your body and helping your body lose that extra weight.

4. Lemon water (fresh lemon juice added to water) acts as a natural diuretic so if you're retaining water and you feel puffy, drink some lemon water.

5. If you get frustrated or otherwise feel your motivation is declining, ask someone for help whether it be a pep talk, to be a sounding board or even to grab that cookie from your hand and tell you no.

6. Exercise even if it is only 20 minutes 3 times a week. Find something you love to do and do it.

7. Try to get 8 hours of sleep a night. You'll be amazed how much lack of sleep affects your mood and stress levels.

8. Track everything you eat on Sparkpeople. You'll be surprised how much it helps when it comes to analyzing weight loss troubles. The more you track, the more data you have to help you.

9. Don't make the mistake of convincing yourself that that "chocolate bar" won't hurt or that "pint of ice cream" has dairy so it must be good for you. That will be the start of your decline into bad eating habits.

10. Listen to your body. If you eat something and gain, cut it out again. If you can't figure out what it was, start investigating by cutting out foods one by one until you start losing again. Add back the suspected food and see if you gain.

I'll add to these tips as I progress on my weight loss journey. If you'd like to find me, I'm pretty dedicated to the Beachbody line of fitness systems. You'll best succeed in finding me on the Turbo Jammers group.

~ Midlight21 ~

Member Since: 2/16/2007

Fitness Minutes: 3,431

My Goals:
My ultimate goal is to get to a size 12, whatever weight that is for me. I don't think I'd look very good at a smaller size because I've got large bones and DON'T want to look bony!

My Program:
My Diet: Paleo

My Exercise: Any of the Beachbody programs, love them!

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Other Information:
Cherry Blossom background by Whetzel at http://www.flickr.com/photos/whetzel/

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    Hi! I just started T25, too (Monday). I wondered if you wanted a check-in and workout buddy. It would help me stay on track, and since we nearly started the same day, it might help! I added you. I think the T25 community isn't very active, so would love to chat with someone who is doing the program right now!
    1497 days ago
    Just dropping in to say hello. I hope you are still around.
    2028 days ago
    Your page about yourself is very inspiring and Congrats on all your accomplishments. I also do the South Beach but found myself getting off track. I had lost 27 pounds on South Beach so I know it works. I am working on my last 10 or so pounds which may not sound like a lot but those last 10 pounds are the worse.
    good luck to you!!!!!!!!!
    2283 days ago
    Welcome to Low Carb For Dummies!! Come join us on the forums! emoticon
    2289 days ago
    Welcome to the Low Carb for Dummies Team. We are a friendly bunch of people all living the low carb lifestyle to some degree or another who like to get together and share successes and vent about failures, sometimes just shoot the breeze. Come join in our chats and occasional challenges.
    2289 days ago
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