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ON2VICTORY SparkPoints: (47,763)
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6/19/13 8:59 A

My beginning was actually almost by accident. I know that is not very dramatic but it is the truth. Even at 385, I couldn't be shamed or scared into trying to lose weight mostly because I had failed so many times before and I was/am a classic avoider. If at first you don't succeed just don't do it again and you will never feel the sting of failure.

I started eating lighter foods, more veggies etc because I was trying to pull out the stops on how to survive the night shifts on my new job. I figured the easier my food was to digest, the more energy I would have available to say awake. I figured that any small advantage I could get would be helpful. I wasn't trying to lose weight.

The scale started moving a little which awoke the desire to try to make a change.

Then I simply started walking every day or every other day. The scale responded a little more and the rest is history. With each small victory, a hunger came to feel that again and that's when I discovered running with the finish line, the medals, the sense of accomplishment.

Today, I am about 7+ weeks out from a 70.3 mile triathlon. That is a loooong way from walking but it illustrates the point that you never know where a journey of humble and accidental beginnings will take you.

Edited by: ON2VICTORY at: 6/19/2013 (09:00)
6/17/13 9:23 A

These are GREAT replies, it's my hope that maybe some folks are reading them that may be at the beginning of their journey and maybe find some useful information or at least know that we've ALL been there before.


IZZY216 Posts: 544
6/6/13 6:41 P

Ok, just like a lot of you I have lost and regained over and over. Much of my life has been spent on a diet of some kind. I am 57 and a borderline diabetic with a family history of diabetes(2 brothers{dead} 1 still alive and 1 sister). So you think that would be the kicker that would make me wakeup. I don't know why it is soooo hard for me. I know I can do it and really want too. But there is something that just keeps me trapped in this FAT body with high risk factors that just keep piling up. I know all the things you have listed is a must do and I thank you for posting your experience. But you too know exactly what I am talking about. Its a trap that for must, is NO escape. So we tell ourselves. I think its a matter of not just knowing how and wanting too. Its that we must believe in ourselves and just keep reaching for the goal and realizing that we can never let our guard down. We are all Food addicts and we all experience loss, disappointments, emotional ups and downs. We need to turn to something other than food, maybe EXERCISE. I obvious I don't have the answer and I struggle every minute and every day. The one thing I know for SURE, you have to have Great support at home, at work, etc. Family & friends can totally derail you or stop you cold in you tracks. We all are like puppets and food are the strings that control our every thought and actions, how do we cut the strings for good?

LILAFLOWER912 SparkPoints: (14,305)
Fitness Minutes: (14,868)
Posts: 93
6/6/13 5:52 P

What I have learned so far:

1) Track EVERYTHING you eat and be HONEST. You are only hurting yourself by not being honest about what you are consuming. The scale doesn't lie when you are SAYING you are only consuming 1350 calories but are really consuming 1750 doing extra nibbling throughout the day.

Speaking of scales...

2) Use the scale as a TOOL but not as the only thing that indicates success in your journey of weight loss. Measurements will become your best friend because they will give you a concrete, unbiased reflection of how you are doing. The scale can vary from day to day, but measurements will not change that quickly. Also, just LISTEN to your body. Are you FEELING better and more energized? Then you are probably on the right track.

3) Stress control really is crucial to your success. Many dieters like myself have been derailed by letting life's stresses get in the way and cause them to backslide. I KNOW emotions got in the way of my last weight loss success. In 2005, I weighed nearly 220 pounds and through hard work and diet control I lost nearly 90 pounds and was about 130 pounds when I reached my goal. I managed to keep it off for about 2 years for the most part. However, in early 2008 I lost 2 grandparents 3 weeks apart from each other, and I just seemed to backslide after that. I KNOW emotional eating and just convenience eating played a part in it since we were back and forth from the hospital before my Grandfather passed. I gradually gained weight over the next 4 years and I think in the back of my mind I thought it was OK as long as I didn't creep above 200 pounds like I did before. Well... at the end of 2012 I DID go above 200 pounds and I decided enough was enough.Which is why I joined Sparkpeople at the beginning of the year. I am so grateful I made that choice!

4) Even when you reach your goal weight you basically have to treat yourself like an alcoholic that is in recovery. You are ALWAYS in recovery from obesity. Even at your goal weight you really DO have to track your calories and exercise regularly if you want to KEEP the weight off. If you go back to the unhealthy eating and not exercising you WILL gain all the weight back and possibly more.

6/6/13 10:46 A

Hopefully new folks are gleaning lots of good info and stories from this thread.

SIMPLYME160 SparkPoints: (1,834)
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Posts: 143
6/4/13 5:29 P

At my highest of 325 lbs a few years ago, and many failed diets I tried prepackaged foods that left me hungry and unsatisfied, pills, herbals, special diet/health foods with the promise to lose, the newest fad never worked. I gave up thinking I'd never lose. Instead I began writing in a notebook type planner everything I ate-I mean everything I put in my mouth. I found when I was on a "plan" that never worked it was because it was "all or nothing" approach..I was used to eating a lot. I simply began to eat a little less each week until my body adjusted to less food gradually. This took about 6 weeks, Then began making small changes one at a time, first was to limit soda-now soda free. Cutting back unhealthy treats, adding one healthier item at a time. For me, this is working. I still allow everything I am used to in my diet in moderation, and reworked many recipes into healthier versions of old favorites. I still battle with stress eating at times, and find a deversion for food. I also began walking, short walks at first adding more time every week. Then adding other activities as I began to lose and feel better. Today weighed in at 238 lbs and on my way to my 200 lb mini goal then to my goal of 160 lbs. Keep going-even if I slip up and over indulge for a day, Back on track the next! Its being Human-NOT Failure.

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
6/4/13 3:49 P

For me, it's been more of a Guide to Re-inventing Your Life.... and it started LONG before the first pound was shed.

I had basically resigned myself to "being fat." I'd given up. And for awhile, I REALLY gave up. To the point where I didn't wear makeup, keep my hair nice, buy clothing, even take my prescription medication, it was just. BAD. I really felt so worthless, like I didn't deserve to look nice, didn't even deserve good health...

And when you feel like that - you can't lose weight. You can spend a lot of time THINKING about what you SHOULD do. And feeling worse than ever, when you DON'T. But the way out of this dilemma is not by focusing on "failure" and telling yourself not to be such a damn failure. The way out is to accept what you are, and find a peace with it.

I did, I finally one day snapped out of the vicious downward spiral and decided, "ok, so. I'm fat. MIGHT AS WELL MAKE THE BEST OF IT."

I didn't make ANY plans to lose weight at ALL. I simply decided to make some cosmetic changes. New haircut. Stylish office-professional clothes that FIT. Makeup. Contacts. A SMILE. I didn't do all this at once... I added these things over a period of weeks and months. Ha, I still remember the first time I wore "really bright lipstick" to work, I felt like a little girl who'd been caught in her mom's makeup drawer, like everyone was going to gawk at my Vivid Lips. It's...... the lipstick seen in my current display picture. Bold choice? No! But at the time.... it was pushing the boundaries of comfort. Drawing attention to myself even in this little way? Was really hard! But one such move emboldened the next one... and the next.

A year went by. And I went from "fat frumpy" to "fat feisty" and was feeling very good about myself - Plus Size is not inherently unattractive, I could look good if I worked it!

And then I got the idea in my head. Ya know.... maybe.... if I could just get back into my 18W's.... I'd have a lot of things to wear. Getting tired of buying 22's....

And I didn't plan it as a New Year's Resolution. The actual moment of "Yes - I'll do this" happened on January 5, and wasn't tied to Resolution Season at all. It just happened to be the moment that I finally felt ready.

I immediately ceased ALL fast-food and junk-convenience-snack-food. ALL. The shock wore off after about a week. I credit this change alone, for a huge part of my earliest success.... and to be honest, turning my back on Big Food/Industrial Food/Corporate Cooking and reconnecting with REAL food... has been key to my continuing success,and a great source of joy, pleasure, satisfaction, deliciousness. It's a lot of work but SOOOOO rewarding. It's time well invested and it's been FUN. Keeping it fun and rewarding will carry me to goal, and keep me there. Nobody can maintain "deprivation and punishment" for the long term. We do what makes us feel good. Making healthy eating feel good... that's where the win comes from.

OKIEGIRL561 Posts: 2,362
6/4/13 3:06 P

I had given up losing weight. My sister needed to lose weight for medical reasons. I knew I had health issues, too. I started last year and have really lost more like 67 pounds. I eat healthy food. I eat 3 meals a day--no eating between meals. I have given up "trigger" foods. (For me, chips, high sugar foods)

ELLES26 Posts: 447
6/4/13 3:00 P


LOVE4KITTIES Posts: 4,690
6/4/13 2:59 P

One day, I just couldn't take it any longer and I was ready to do what needed to be done. This is my story:

Edited by: LOVE4KITTIES at: 6/4/2013 (15:03)
OBIESMOM2 SparkPoints: (251,734)
Fitness Minutes: (126,460)
Posts: 14,918
6/4/13 2:15 P

losing weight is like quitting smoking - if at first you don't succeed (and you likely won't), try try again. As long as you keep trying, keep learning, and never give up, you will get there

JO88BAKO SparkPoints: (319,343)
Fitness Minutes: (174,617)
Posts: 17,150
6/3/13 11:45 P

One day at a time, one good choice at a time

BLUENOSE63 SparkPoints: (108,021)
Fitness Minutes: (82,255)
Posts: 2,954
6/3/13 11:13 P

I have always been an athlete yet when my father died 7 years ago; food became my reward for taking over everything that he used to do for my wake up call came the day 5 years ago when my son couldn't encircle my waist with his arms and clasp hands.....I knew I had to do something.

Best piece of advice I received was to eat every 3 hours.

JIACOLO SparkPoints: (558,951)
Fitness Minutes: (220,643)
Posts: 31,007
6/3/13 10:30 P

The best advice I ever got was that being patient, while EXTREMELY difficult, was the most important thing to focus on. It took time to create the body you are trying to re-create. We all want quick results, but healthy living doesn't happen overnight and neither does a healthier weight or body.

6/3/13 10:21 P

I have started and fallen off so many diets that I cant remember a start period. I reached a low point, in 2011, where my diabetes was out of control, and the oral meds weren't working, and I couldn't go to work. I took 6 weeks off from work, joined a gym and got my diet under control. I lost 20 pounds. My doctor started me on insulin,and I gained 15. I found Spark People in march 2012, since then I lost 25 pounds and stopped insulin. I still struggle, I haven't lost anymore weight. I have decided that the difference is that I keep picking myself up.

ONLINEASLLOU SparkPoints: (73,365)
Fitness Minutes: (57,011)
Posts: 4,787
6/3/13 9:38 P

I had WANTED to start for many years, but couldn't bring myself to actually do it -- and watched my weight gradually creep up to 203 pounds -- crossing that 200 pound line I thought I would never cross. I knew that I was a carb addict and would joke about how "I would be a really bad diabetic" because I couldn't live without my carbs.

Then 5.5 years ago, I was at 203 pounds and was officially diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. I knew what I had to do ... and so I just did it. My father died prematurely from heart disease complicated by diabetes and I didn't want to die that young.

So I went very low carb for a little while to break my carb addiction. I now eat "low to moderate carb" -- somewhere between 100 and 150 grams of carb per day. I also started exercising at least 5 days per week. Lab work great, BP improved, 50 pounds lighter ... and I have never needed meds for my diabetes. I just test my blood glucose twice per day to help me stay on track. Just 6 weeks ago, my doctor officially changed my diagnosis from "diabetes" to "insulin resistence."

I've had my setbacks over the last 5.5 years ... and I would love to lose another 25 pounds eventually ... but I consider myself a success.

Edited by: ONLINEASLLOU at: 6/3/2013 (22:48)
MEGAPEEJ Posts: 732
6/3/13 5:45 P

I started after seeing myself in the vacation photos, getting back a scary cholesterol number, and hitting "200" on the scale. Up until this point I would complain to my husband that I was so gross, how could he look at me, I didn't used to be like this, and after hearing me say that for months he finally said "STOP. I love you no matter what you look like, but you're not going to sit here and complain about something that you can fix and NOT FIX IT. You can eat whatever you want, workout or not if you want, but the excuses and complaints have to stop." It was the moment and realized that I needed to DO something - I was unhappy with myself and griping wasn't changing that, *I* needed to change that. It was a huge wakeup call that I was hurting myself, and those around me.

I joined the gym with my husband within that week, and started tracking my food here. I'm down almost 20 pounds, and I'm already so much happier in my own skin.

PBAILEY06 SparkPoints: (38,994)
Fitness Minutes: (38,163)
Posts: 629
6/3/13 5:06 P

I started when my close friend died from a heart attack. She was healthy, I think genetics played into it more than lifestyle. I realized that I don't have any family history of heart trouble, if I had a heart attack it was all due to lifestyle and the fact that I was obese. I don't want my husband and son to go through that.

I didn't start that day - it still took me 6 months before I committed myself to making the changes I need to make. I had my son in my late 30's and I want to be around to see him all grown up. So my journey is for me, and my husband and son. I've slipped here and there but as long as I'm moving forward, I'll take it as it comes.

MRSRIGS1 SparkPoints: (128,659)
Fitness Minutes: (30,284)
Posts: 2,778
6/3/13 2:14 P

My 'a-ha' moment came when I ended up in ER with diabetes out of control. I was first diagnosed in 2008. I ended up in the ER that time as well. It's very overwhelming to find out you have a disease and more so having to educate yourself on what to do with it! I was handed so much literature that I found myself afraid to eat. Guess what? I ended up in ER again!

I knew I had to take it one-day-at-a-time if I was going to get this under control. I did. Then, life hit me again and I stopped taking care of myself. This second time in ER was my wake up call. My son, god bless him, encouraged me to start this program. Keeping track of my calories has never been easier. I am losing weight. My glucose is getting under control. I am exercising. I feel BETTER!

MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 17,535
6/3/13 2:01 P

One day I was shopping with my neice and I sat down in the fitting room. I looked across at a three way mirror and there was this terribly overweight woman staring back at me and then I realized, IT WAS ME.

So my advice is to just do it and dont be to hard on yourself if you slip up because you will slip up.

I gained about seven pounds back and I am trying to get that off.

6/3/13 1:03 P

Tru dat, Sister, TRU-DAT!

OBIESMOM2 SparkPoints: (251,734)
Fitness Minutes: (126,460)
Posts: 14,918
6/3/13 12:18 P

you really have to start with what & how much you eat - that's about 80% of the battle! Once you get started on that, add in some regular activity.

but always keep in mind - you cannot out-exercise a bad diet

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

WENDIBUGG Posts: 674
6/3/13 10:59 A

I had tried unsuccessfully for years to lose weight. Even though I exercised a good bit I never lost more than 5 lbs or so then would gain it back and a few more. I didn't think I ate that much but never really tracked it. I don't do diets because I am weird about my food and I have to be able to lose weight eating foods that I like that way I can keep it up overtime. My friend who is equally weird about food joined weight watchers so I ended up joining with her once I realized I could eat whatever I wanted but just had to count it. WW and counting pts made me more aware that while I didn't eat much what I did eat was the problem. I changed up my eating habits still eating foods I like but cutting out the really bad ones. And I finally started seeing real results doing this plus exercising. That gave me the motivation to keep going. I lost 38 lbs in 4.5 months doing WW then I moved overseas and stress and being unable to eat alot of the foods I was eating on WW's caused me to gain back 20 lbs. Since March I have lost 22 lbs and hope I can keep up the motivation and not get sidetracked again.

SHERYLDS Posts: 17,483
6/3/13 9:58 A

When all the bad news started overwhelming me
and I realized I was definitely headed for a health disaster, I got scared enough to really take things to heart. But the motivation was short lived when I dropped 35 pounds and got an okay from the medical tests. I wasn't okay...I was still obese and it was just a matter of time. So I decided to turn things around and change to a healthy lifestyle. That has made all the difference...not just in my size, but in my health...and my future. CHANGING the way you think about your health is the difference between self destruction or working towards a better tomorrow ..starting today.

6/3/13 9:32 A

This is GREAT!

Please continue to share your input on how to start losing weight!


LAST20FORME SparkPoints: (4,152)
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Posts: 158
6/3/13 8:33 A

Answering the title of the thread.

I would say to find an activity (active not sewing) that you really enjoy. That physical activity you will need to participate in the rest of your life. For me it's hiking. I love the beauty of it and the way it makes me feel. I am 60 years old and yesterday I went on a 9 mile hike over granite and climbing rocks. The reward of a magnificent waterfall at the summit was well worth it.

I have also lost 45 pounds by not dieting. I enjoy what I eat but just make a healthy version of what I like. I try to stay away from restaurants.

It's about making a lifestyle change you can live with and enjoy.

LEC358 SparkPoints: (11,135)
Fitness Minutes: (6,555)
Posts: 2,744
6/3/13 8:17 A

I started the day after I turned in my master's thesis and realized that in the process of writing it, I had gained 30lbs. The two things I started immediately were tracking *everything* I ate and using measuring cups for portion control.

GYPSYROVER Posts: 3,240
6/3/13 7:02 A

Tomorrow it will be 4 weeks since I stepped on the scale and saw 212 emoticon . That was it. emoticon I started SparkPeople!! I lost 4 lbs the first week; lost 3 lbs the second week and 1 lb the third week. However, tomorrow is weigh-in day and I have not done so well this week with diet or exercise emoticon . So I will prepare to be a little sad tomorrow, but my journey toward health will continue.

emoticon emoticon

JGIRL5799 Posts: 561
6/3/13 6:38 A

Two yrs ago when I started my highest weight was 275.. I never knew "how big" I was until I saw a picture of myself and I couldn't recognize myself in that picture. After seeing the doctor, they told me I had liver disease and a few other things and said, loose it or die were my options.

I had always thought myself of being 190lbs but at a size 3x and always in pluses, there is no way that matched up lolol

I managed to loose 55lbs on my own to this date, and with sparks people I can now get to goal..

Loosing weight for me was hard and it was a do or die thing... now I see it as a "choice" and it was my choice to get to where I was, and it will be my choice to get to goal and stay at where I want to be. When I started I failed a lot and I got so discouraged I gave up A LOT... my excuses were extraordinary out of the blue and I used them to my advantage (so I thought).. Plus I kept using the excuses, I will start monday when I screwed up eating really bad or I had an over eating day..starting was not good for me at all...The only good thing I was doing right when I started was I joined a gym and I stuck with it.. I hired a trainer to learn how to lift weights and use the free weight machines, dumbbells, and do other things and I joined in on group gym classes (zumba)
I had no idea what to do what to eat or what I should be doing, but the first yr was getting over my mental part, get my brain and thoughts straight, and start moving.. the second was learning how to eat right, this year (third year) is kicking it all up in gear and doing what I have learned.

I plan on being at goal by new years...which is between 160-175

(Congrats on your 100lb weight loss that is soo awesome!!!!!)))

Edited by: JGIRL5799 at: 6/3/2013 (06:52)
NAUSIKAA Posts: 4,848
6/3/13 6:17 A

I started when I realized that it wasn't going to just magically get better on it's own, I was going to have to do the hard work. I joined a gym the next day and fired up my food tracker and dusted off my scale and just jumped back in with both feet. I was so tired. After numerous health problems, I had gained a LOT of weight. I had managed to lose 100 lbs in 2006-2008, and here I was in 2012 with having regained a substantial amount of it. It was heartbreaking. I knew how to lose weight, as I had obviously done it in the not-too-distant past, I just hadn't actually done the work. I think it really helped that I had made a few unsuccessful attempts because I didn't go into it thinking it would be easy or fast. It hasn't been easy OR fast but today is my 9 month anniversary of getting BACK ON TRACK and I have lost about 3/4 of the weight and I'm in the best shape of my life. The beginning was the hardest part because I had my head in the sand for years and just blamed my health for it. But really it was a mental/emotional thing -- I KNEW how hard it had been to lose the 100 lbs in the first place and I didn't want to have to do all that hard work again. The thing that flipped the switch for me was being in a bikini on the beach and feeling embarrassed on my husband's behalf that he was being seen with me. It was only one day later that I joined the gym and started working hard.

9 months as of today... and now I'm at a healthy weight and I'm strong as an ox, but I still want to get my body fat % down quite a lot more. Lots more hard work ahead!

TRYINGHARD54 Posts: 5,292
6/3/13 5:57 A

your doing great.. I start a weight lose journey everyday... So far I haven't got very far..

6/3/13 5:46 A

This is a thread for all of us to share our own "beginning" on our current weightloss journey.

I started when I got home from the doctor's with several prescriptions to start taking insulin for my out of control diabetes. I walked every day; 15 min. in one direction and then turned around always with the goal of trying to get farther and farther in the first half of my walk. I also cut out FRIED anything, I stopped eating more than two slices of bread (I didn't know what a carb was then), I also didn't eat after 7 pm and lastly I drank more water than I ever had before.

That was it, no fancy diet, no calorie counting, spiritual epiphany, nothing, just pure determination. In 3 weeks I had dropped noticeable weight and started to feel better.

THIS is where I started...

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