Motivation Articles

Adventures in Weight Loss: Coach Dean's Story

140 Pounds Gone Forever


This got the weight loss rolling again over the next six months—65 pounds down (now at 265). It wasn’t a very smooth ride, though. Many weeks, I didn’t lose any weight and I'd even gain a few pounds. Other weeks I'd lose five or more pounds. None of it made much sense to me, since I was doing pretty much the same things all the time.

The first few times the scale stopped moving, I was frustrated and panicky. Thinking, “What’s the use, I’ll always be fat,” led to more emotional eating. But several people (I guess they were being kind) pointed out that my reaction was just a rationalization for overeating. They were right. And overall, I was doing very well. I had lost over 100 pounds in about 15 months. That, along with good lab results and the fact that I was actually feeling better, persuaded me to stay focused on what was going well instead of on the occasional bad numbers on the scale.

But then things really started to get difficult…

My Second Plateau
For the next 6 months, I gained and lost the same five pounds over and over again. For a while, I started a new "diet" every week in a desperate attempt to get the scale moving again. I tried no sugar, low carb, high carb, high protein, food groupings, vegetarian, and even fasting one day per week. I lowered my calorie intake to 1500 and raised it to 2500. I even took diet pills for a couple of weeks. Nothing worked, and I started to feel depressed all over again.

After a little research, I came across the “set-point” theory—the idea that your body has a narrow weight range that it is most comfortable within, and will go to great lengths to stay there. For most of my adult life, I maintained a weight near 265, so maybe that was my set-point. I really didn’t want to stay at that weight though. After more research, I learned that increasing your exercise and daily activity was one way to potentially lower your set-point.

This wasn’t exactly good news. I was doing well with the low to moderate intensity exercise I had been doing, but I still had significant physical limitations and pain that ruled out high-impact activities like running. Plus, I wasn’t a big fan of getting all out of breath and sweaty.

But I was even less a fan of weighing 265 pounds, so I joined a gym and started going every day to do cardio. I hated it at first. I felt like a whale in a pool of minnows, and I thought that whoever came up with the idea of putting mirrors all over the place ought to be shot. But most of the other members were very friendly, and there were even a few my age and in about the same shape as me. I got over the self-consciousness pretty quickly, and it didn’t take long to start seeing some results for my efforts.
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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

    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
  • Coach Dean,

    Thank you for sharing your story - your story has inspired me as I have made it my goal as well to maintain a healthy weight. What a challenge it IS to figure it all out personalize it to fit "your" life. I can relate to your story all too well. LOVED your article!
    btw - I have always hated those gym mirrors too. Lol! - 2/17/2014 7:30:07 PM
  • Wow, I loved reading your story. It was motivating and inspiring to say the least. Keep up the good work. - 2/17/2014 3:28:19 PM
    My favorite line, "I felt like a whale in a pool of minnows". Yep, I get that! - 2/17/2014 9:14:40 AM
  • Thanks for sharing your story. It's proof that if I never give up, no matter what obsticles I have to overcome, I will reach my goal. "Thank You"! - 1/27/2014 1:26:42 AM
  • Love your article. Very inspiring. - 9/12/2013 5:48:33 PM
    Thank you for sharing the story of your weight loss. I was searching for some motivation, and your story helped. It was a great reminder that there are often obstacles along the way, and that they can eventually be overcome. Bravo to you on your success. - 8/11/2013 3:13:06 PM
  • Really needed to hear a story like that today! Thank you! - 7/25/2013 5:12:09 AM
  • This is a very inspiring article. Thank you for sharing it. I can relate to SO much of what you say here. Thanks! - 7/24/2013 8:29:33 AM

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