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

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  • v GLAMIT
    Hey buddy, I am glad that you joined the buddy system. I was reading your story and and I am impressed. You have really turned your life and thinking around about dieting and you are on the right track now....Awesome~ I'm glad you are sharing it with others it's very motivational. There is a group for hypo's too if you are interested, it's on my page. Have a great day :)
    3281 days ago
  • v IMFIT4ME
    welcome to The Buddy System!! I hope it is everything you rlooking for in a group of supportive people!!!

    I look forward to getting to know you!!!
    3282 days ago
    Thanks for the comment on my blog! I am not looking back at those two days of disastrous caloric intake, and instead looking ahead at my day today! :)
    I love your list of tips for success, and did not know about lemon water being a diuretic! That is GREAT to know for those bloated days of the month.
    Take care! I'm adding you as a friend!
    3289 days ago
    Thanks for your comments on my blogs. Good ideas. Thank you!
    3290 days ago
    Thanks for writing on my page. I love getting the encouragement, it really helps. I am drinking my water today and going on the treadmill!! Congrats on the weight loss.....Way to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    3392 days ago
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