After spending the majority of my life happily at 215 lbs (+ or - 10), I put on 20 lbs in 3 weeks after a hysterectomy. Then, in January I developed a massive incisional hernia and was told that I needed to lose 50 to 70 lbs in order to have a successful repair surgery without mesh (I'm allergic to the mesh).
I know that I need the surgery, but the hernia itself (along with some other medical conditions) seriously limits what exercise I can do.
I also know that just losing the weight prior to the surgery and then gaining it back is NOT an option - it's highly likely I would develop another hernia if I gain the weight back.
So - SparkPeople gave me my best option: changing my lifestyle to gradually lose the weight and keep it off for life. I would love to hurry the process (because, frankly, this hernia is quite painful and the limitations it imposes are more than just an inconvenience), but understand that this wouldn't be best for me in the long term.
I had already started on Spark back in December, because I was seriously deficient in iron and folate, and needed the nutrition tracker to make sure that I was ingesting enough of these minerals. I hadn't even really looked at the calories, because losing weight wasn't on my radar, but did lose a couple of pounds just by changing the foods I was eating to higher iron and folate (spinach is my friend!).
When my hernia developed in January, I entered my weight loss goal as being roughly 70 lbs in one year, which gave me a calorie range to start with. I then started making small, gradual changes to my regular eating, but made sure that what I added was always something that I really enjoyed. I know that I won't stick to something that I don't enjoy, so every change that I have made has been something that ADDED to what I like, or altered something to another thing that I liked just as much.
I've always loved veggies, and lean protein, and whole grains so I discovered that my biggest issue was portion sizes. To drop to the "weight loss" calorie range, I really just needed to drop down to 3/4 cup of cereal instead of 1-1/2 cups, 1/2 cup of ice cream instead of 1 cup, 1 slice of toast instead of 2, etc. When I make a stirfry, I fill my plate with flavourful veggies, and skip the rice. I still eat whatever I want to (including chocolate, and ice cream, and red wine) but make sure that I hit all my essential nutrients first and have everything in proper portions.
This is a way of eating that I absolutely enjoy, so I know that I'll have no issues with sticking with it for the rest of my life. I am losing 1-1/2 to 2 lbs per week right now (but I know that'll start slowing down soon), which hopefully will get me to my goal of having the surgery by the end of this year. If it takes longer, then that is fine: the priority is to make permanent changes, not hit a "schedule". I have no feeling of deprivation, simply because I am not being deprived of anything at all!
Take a couple of deep breaths, take a look at your nutrition tracker, and start considering what little steps that you want to make to start this life-change journey. If you look at one baby step at a time, focusing on what you can ADD to your diet each day (8 cups of water; more veggies; more fruits; tastier, healthier fats), then you'll be on your way to better health for life.
Best wishes to you for great results with changing your life, losing some weight, and avoiding that surgery!
Edited by: ICEDEMETER at: 4/28/2013 (14:55)
Start weight: 240 lbs
Goal weight: 155 lbs (reached March 7, 2014)
Afraid of a colonoscopy? Believe me - they are much less frightening than surgery and chemotherapy.
Colonoscopies allow polyps to be removed before they can become cancer, or let cancers be found before they are too widespread. If you are 50 or older, or have any symptoms, please don't let fear stop you from covering your butt.
| current weight: -2.2 under