Motivation Articles

Adventures in Weight Loss: Coach Dean's Story

140 Pounds Gone Forever

By Dean Anderson, Fitness & Behavior Expert         
Page 2 of 5

The other thing I focused on right away was walking. I set a goal of walking one mile each day, to the grocery store and back. To make sure I stuck with it, I never bought more than one package of whatever I needed, so I’d have to get back to the store within a day or two at most.

This small amount of walking was very difficult at first. My excess weight made it painful and very slow going. But after a few weeks, my muscles loosened up, I experienced less pain, and it started getting easier.

It took over two months for my weight to register under the maximum on the scale (370 pounds). So early on I developed the habit of looking for other signs of progress—my walking, my eating habits, my moods. For the first time, I started thinking that maybe I wasn’t doomed to be the way I was for the rest of my life, and that change really was possible.

Good News from the Doctor
The next stage in my weight loss began when my doctor said that all my lab results had improved so much (in just three months) that he held off prescribing medication to see if things continued to improve with diet and exercise.

Over the next several months, I worked with a certified diabetes educator to get my diet on the right track. I also spent some time in physical therapy, strengthening my ankles and legs. By the end of month six, my weight was down to 330 pounds, my lab results were still improving, and I was using the stairs to reach my third floor apartment several times per day. I had also found some healthy foods that I actually liked—berries and yogurt, oatmeal with strawberries, apple slices with just a bit of peanut butter and stir-fried veggies.

My First Plateau
For the next two months, I lost only five pounds. I had been steadily increasing my exercise—using a stationary bike for 15-20 minutes most days, walking and climbing the stairs—and I was sticking to my low-saturated fat diet. But the weight loss had just stopped, and it was really starting to get to me.

Up to this point, I estimated my calorie intake in my head, without actually counting or writing it down. After a few days of honest tracking, I saw that I was still eating almost 3000 calories each day, about 800 of which came from soda…and the extra spoonfuls of peanut butter I ate from the jar while making snacks. So, I traded in the regular soda for diet soda and water, and stopped dipping into the peanut butter jar.
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About The Author

Dean Anderson Dean Anderson
Dean Anderson has master's degrees in human services (behavioral psychology/stress management) and liberal studies. His interest in healthy living began at the age of 50 when he confronted his own morbid obesity and health issues. He joined SparkPeople and lost 150 pounds and regained his health. Dean has earned a personal training certification from ACE and received training as a lifestyle and weight management consultant. See all of Dean's articles.

Member Comments

  • I really learned a lot from your words. I seem to be stuck at the moment at not losing but it isn't really bothering me. I have been getting stronger physically and that pleases me the most. I enjoyed your journey to a better you and it has really helped me. Thank you for the time you put into writing this for the rest of us. - 3/21/2016 10:12:34 AM
  • Congratulations! Thanks for your honesty about your weight loss journey....I'm just starting out and love to read ther people's success stories. Who else can you learn best from?
    I have read many of your other articles and always find the elpful and interesting...tha
    nks again! - 3/15/2016 4:01:58 PM
    Congratulations, it was nothing short of sheer determination to make the necessary life changes. Continue to inspire! - 2/12/2016 9:37:07 AM
  • Thank you so much for sharing your story. You are certainly an inspiration to me! - 2/6/2016 8:23:39 AM
  • I absolutely love your story! Thank you so much for sharing it. After losing 82 pounds, I didn't find the girl I left at this same weight many years ago. My body has definitely changed, haha! On the other hand, it doesn't look bad and I feel so much better. - 1/21/2016 2:43:11 AM
  • I'm so glad I read your story. Your honesty touched me because I have had the same thoughts when I don't see the results I want or I go backwards. I also appreciated what you said about not being 20 anymore. We are bombarded by pictures of young people with washboard abs and huge biceps that are supposed to be inspirational to us but are totally unrealistic for many of us. It is great for us to be happy with who we are and not live in perpetual disappointment or discouragement that we don't look like those young models. You are an inspiration to me. Keep up the good work. - 1/5/2016 11:55:45 PM
  • Thank you for sharing your story. This sounds a lot like my journey except I made the wrong choice when reaching a plateau after losing over 100 lbs. I have in about a year gained 60 back and lost much of my fitness stamina. It is time to look forward and get back to where I was. I too was looking for the washboard abs, etc. and your article helped to realize that due to my age and health issues that limit my exercise choices this isn't going to happen. Your story was just what I needed to read today! - 1/3/2016 10:51:24 AM
  • Thank you for sharing your story! Needed that today :o) Blessings to you! - 9/1/2015 6:52:47 AM
    Thanks for your honesty. I am 60 and I need to realize I will never be 20 again. There is hope to begin my journey to reinvent myself. - 4/1/2015 8:20:02 AM
  • When I come across one of your articles, I always stop and read because I know there's always going to be somethng useful in there, but this is by far the article I most love!

    You are honest about the whole process, you talk about when and where you were failing and how you got over it, how long it take, what srategies you used. There's so much in here!

    THanks so much for sharing! This article is a keeper! - 2/19/2015 12:40:54 PM
  • I applaud your determination. You are an inspiration to all of us!!! - 2/9/2015 7:00:25 PM
    I am glad you have found wellness. You lost a lot of weight in a fairly short period of time and it appears you don't have any complications from it. You are lucky.

    I would suggest to anyone with a lot of weight to lose to get their livers checked regularly. I developed fatty liver disease and scarring of the liver due to a large and rapid weight loss. I am in danger of developing cancer because of it. I lost 90 lbs in one year and it destroyed my body. If I were to do it over again, I would go for a VERY S-L-O-W and steady weight loss of a max. of 1 lb per week. Being fat is very hard on your body, but so is rapid weight loss. - 9/9/2014 9:02:57 PM
  • Wow! What an accomplishment! You are a true inspiration! Thank you so much for sharing!!

    You are amazing! :) - 8/28/2014 9:48:30 PM
  • Thank you!!! You captured many of my self defeating thoughts and excuses and encouraged me today there is hope in change. - 8/28/2014 11:27:40 AM
  • Thank you, Coach Dean. This is one of the best success stories I've ever read. I'm so glad you decided to go on this journey and share it with us.I appreciate your honesty and I really appreciate all that you bring to SparkPeople! - 6/24/2014 1:09:30 PM

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