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2 years, 130lbs, and a very long post with a pile of pics at the end. :^)

CoachJen71CoachJen71 Member Posts: 1,201 Member Member Posts: 1,201 Member
I was so embarrassed to look like this while I was coaching:

Here I am wearing the same pants today:

Age: 44
Height: 5'2.5"
Frame: A smallish medium
SW: 262+
CW: 134
GW: Under 140 somewhere (Year 2: Under 130)
Exercise: Mostly walking, with a little bit of Zumba, low impact aerobics, and swimming thrown in for variety as I get bored easily. Some resistance work, but I keep hurting myself and having to rest and then start over from scratch. :(Year 2: More walking and hiking than anything. I aim for 20K steps in a day, but just for kicks I tried to see how many I could get in one go. You’ll see that in a pic below. :) Resistance work with weights still triggers my neck strain injuries, so sticking with body resistance for now. Good old planks, push-ups, squats, lunges. Whatever I feel will improve my hiking.

Food Plan: Eat a couple hundred calories 5 or 6 times a day. I aim for 10,500 calories a week, and try to eat lighter in the beginning of the week so that I can have calories to play with on the weekends. This is how I want to eat in maintenance, so whenever the weight loss stops I know I am there and can just continue doing what I have been doing. (I wrote off aiming for a specific weight or range and pushing myself toward it because scale fixation and bulimia have been a real problem for me in the past.) (Year 2: About the same, but I eat a little more food and more often. This summer I have been eating maybe every hour or so. Sounds crazy, but being home and dealing with boredom/guilt over not cleaning the house full tilt gives me the munchies.)

Two summers ago, I hadn’t planned on losing weight again. At a very short 262lbs (perhaps more,) I was resigned to being morbidly obese for the rest of my life. So when I followed a friend’s links back to Fitbit and MyFitnessPal in July 2014, I wasn’t feeling any pressure or rush to get something done. I was just curious. It all looked simple enough to me. And it was simple. Not always easy, but definitely simple. Log what I eat. Pay attention to how much I move. Make sure I eat less and move more. One year and 106lbs later I am doing more with my life now. I can stand all day while teaching or coaching. I can get down on the floor with kids and get back up again. I don’t fall through chairs anymore, and I fit in any chair in any waiting room. I also think people are no longer sneaking glances at me like I’m some sideshow spectacle. Year 2: It’s now 130lbs later and I still have not fallen through any chairs. Phew!

I wanted to take time on my Log-iversary to record some thoughts of what I have learned over the last year. That way I have them compiled in one place for future viewing during those times when I need to find my way again, or want to remember just how far I’ve come. Most of this reads like a reply to newbie post in the forums, and for good reason. I learned a lot from the forums, (some bad ideas, but mostly good ones) and they have helped keep me moving down this road of self-improvement. Year 2: Bad Idea #1: “Eat back only 50% of your exercise calories.” Apparently, I was not supposed to do this if I had an activity tracker, so I wound up undereating and losing muscle mass. This made me very sad. :( Bad Idea #2: It turns out you can drink too much water and too fast. I lowered my blood sodium and wound up with hyponatremia and a lecture from my doctor that I had to pay her to give me. Ouch!

* A support system is crucial. I have been so fortunate to have my MFP family, staff at the health center, and my husband to help me. That my husband chose to make the same kinds of lifestyle choices helped me that much more. Year 2: Together we have lost about 175lbs.

* Tools are also important. I underestimate food portions and overestimate my activity, so a digital food scale and Fitbit have become a regular part of my life. So have the bathroom scale and tape measure, but they don’t seem to have the same power over me that they did when I was younger and bulimic. I chalk it up to being older and greyer. I am finally released from that need to be perfect and model-beautiful. I am just grateful to not be the woman I was a year ago. Year 2: I love data, so seeing numbers and graphs keeps me on point.

I am on the MFP browser diary for daily logging, but MFP Android helps me with macros and weekly Net Calories:
Before anyone panics about my calorie goal, I am set low because I am not a very tight logger. I love to swipe a finger around the food processor after hubby makes peanut butter, or steal a bite of his doughnut when he’s not looking. Setting my cals a bit lower seems to help counteract the weight I was gaining when I was set higher and trying to get away with these things. ;) )

Another favorite tool of mine is my Fitbit and its dashboard fuel gauge. While I am not sure how accurate the numbers are, seeing the energy in-energy out in visual format helps keep me focused. Those two scary looking red spikes were my wedding anniversary and the 4th of July, which are back-to-back. :)

* Patience is key. Sometimes the scale doesn’t show me the numbers I want to see, despite sticking to my plan. I have learned that I tend to stall out for a few weeks at a time, and then drop a sizeable amount of weight in short order. I now know that not seeing those numbers change isn’t a big deal. It will happen when it’s ready to happen.

Year 2: Weight Loss is not linear. It looks like steps, not a true slope:

When I decided in January that I was “in maintenance,” I started to really pay more attention to upticks. A fellow MFPer turned me on to, which helps me see what is going on amidst the daily fluctuations:

* Despite years of thinking I can’t handle sweets and flour, I am in fact able to eat those things in moderation…most of the time. Some days I can ignore the kids’ junk food in the pantry. Other days I make an impulsive grab for it. Usually it’s either feeling deprived or feeling emotional that sets me off. The most important thing is that I take the time to think about why I did it, and then apply honesty to the situation. I log everything, the good, the bad, and the ugly, and then I tell my MFP family what happened. Year 2: I stopped interacting as much with my FitFamily and started struggling more. Might there be a correlation, hmmm? Trying to get back to communicating better.

* After a lifetime membership to the picky eaters club, I am branching out. It’s taken some work, but I have been both expanding and contracting my menu. I eat rather than drink my calories. I consume far more fruits and veggies than I used to. I eat a lot fewer sugary treats, rice, pasta, and breads. And, surprisingly, I am ok with that. I actually love the healthier way I eat now. (Some days I want a treat and can’t fit it in. It helps to tell myself that I can absolutely have that yummy thing, just that today is not that day. Then I plan accordingly and make it work another time. Other days I have it anyway, and just make sure I trade out something else from my pre-planned menu and/or move more to accommodate the extra calories.) Year 2: Still doing the same thing, but I feel… shakier...about it. I think because the smaller I get the less room for error there is.

* I seem to be someone who does well eating 5 or 6 times a day, although I am still working on getting over the idea that my supper plate has to be heaped up with restaurant size portions. I have a fear of being too hungry. This is probably from starving while in the hospital during a terrible Ulcerative Colitis flare-up as a kid, and again later on as I tried starving my excess weight off over and over. Eating more often keeps me from feeling _too_ hungry--scary hungry--and I am redefining for myself what “satisfied” from eating now means. (Hint: It no longer involves unzipping my pants or leaning to the side.)Year 2: All of this still applies. All of it. I am still tweaking my eating plan. For example, because of the high calorie count, I have decided that bacon peanut butter English muffins are better utilized as a supper than a snack.

* When I find myself down-cycling in my bipolar and am sitting too much again, I start reminding myself, “Don’t sit when you can stand. Don’t stand when you can walk. Don’t walk when you can run, dance, or swim.” Conversely, when I am in an upswing, I have to be careful not to overdo it. I have injured myself more than once in this past year from trying to do too much. Unfortunately, I never seem to remember this when I am hypo-manic. My judgement of what is ok is just off. Year 2: Yep. Still all applies. Today I spent time in the MFP forums while walking up and down my hallway.

* Looking forward, I am trying not to fear the tightrope walking of maintenance that is coming. I lost this weight by not being uptight or fretting. I want to take that attitude and apply it to staying at a healthy weight. I know from my past dealings with bulimia and starvation diets, I have to be careful with trying to be “perfect.” If I lose my way, it’s not the end of the world. I can always stop, take a breath, remember why I started down this path to good health in the first place, and that I can do this for just one day/hour/minute. (That’s the great thing about this plan. I don’t have to do it forever, just for today.) Year 2: As I mentioned above, I feel shakier. But then maintenance, or almost maintenance since I keep revising my goal weight downward, is still a new thing for me. Maybe in another decade or two, it will start to feel comfier!)

* I am also trying to remember that I can set other goals to replace the excitement of seeing the scale numbers drop. Health problems and injuries keep setting me back, but I will just keep on trying. Instead of aiming to lose another pound, I will be shooting to tack another mile onto my next hike with hubby. Year 2: Still working on the pounds and the miles. This summer for our anniversary, we hiked our way into a campsite, spent the night, and hiked back out again. This was my first ever two-day hike. I am so proud!! It was exquisite there, if you would like to see pics. The following was not from a hike, but just from a day where I was reading books while walking up and down my hall. (We live in a ranch home with a long hall that opens onto a wide dining/living room. 42 steps round trip.)

I am very proud of what I have accomplished. Taken all at once, I could never have applied all these changes. I would have quit after one day! But making small adjustments over the course of the year made it very manageable, and I have faith in myself that I can continue making more positive changes in my life. Year 2: Still applies!!

I waited 6 weeks before taking BEFORE pics. I wish I had felt braver and done them earlier.

Hubby used to ask me when I would go hiking with him, and I would yell “Never!” from the safety of the couch, because didn’t he know morbidly obese people can’t do things like that?!

But then something weird happened. Once I got up and out there, I started wanting to do it more!

Yes, I have very saggy skin. I wish I had been comfy in my skin years ago so it hadn’t ever gotten saggy in the first place, because gosh darn it I was cute. Ah heck, I am cute now too, saggy skin and all!)

The important thing is, hubby and I have found new life skills and a new way to enjoy our time together. We love to hike, and we love to go out to eat after we have earned a pile of calories!

If you are still here, thanks for taking so much time out of your day to celebrate with me! *hugs*
edited July 2016


  • WeightWatcher67WeightWatcher67 Member Posts: 68 Member Member Posts: 68 Member
    Congratulations! You look amazing!
  • happygalahhappygalah Member Posts: 343 Member Member Posts: 343 Member
    Congratulations. Fabulous results
  • joans1976joans1976 Member Posts: 750 Member Member Posts: 750 Member
    You are adorable and brave and a REAL HUMAN.
    Thank you for sharing!
  • suzilla53suzilla53 Member Posts: 65 Member Member Posts: 65 Member
    Awesome! I have similar stats and goals! You are inspiring!
  • Hungry_ShopgirlHungry_Shopgirl Member Posts: 329 Member Member Posts: 329 Member
    Congrats, what an encouraging read. Thank you!!!
  • spolk47spolk47 Member Posts: 19 Member Member Posts: 19 Member
    You look amazing! Congratulations!
  • madseasonsmadseasons Member, Premium Posts: 103 Member Member, Premium Posts: 103 Member
    Congrats! Thank you for sharing your story. You inspire me to look into hiking with my kids more :wink:
  • KareninLuxKareninLux Member Posts: 1,413 Member Member Posts: 1,413 Member
    Really great post!!!
  • FitFabJennyFitFabJenny Member Posts: 26 Member Member Posts: 26 Member
    This is so wonderful! Wishing you all the continued success in the world!<3
  • Tuliper1Tuliper1 Member Posts: 59 Member Member Posts: 59 Member
    You are truly adorable!!! Well done, and wonderful post!!! <3
  • BigCed77024BigCed77024 Member Posts: 1,122 Member Member Posts: 1,122 Member
    WOW! That is an incredible transformation! Way to be persistent and determined to shed all of that weight!
  • dutchandkiwidutchandkiwi Member Posts: 1,389 Member Member Posts: 1,389 Member
    Loved this post! And I agree hiking is soooooo much fun
  • ThatLoudRedheadThatLoudRedhead Member, Premium Posts: 2 Member Member, Premium Posts: 2 Member
    Wow!! Just totally wow!! Your before and after pics are amazing, your honest observations are so inspiring, and you really ARE cute! :) And I just LOVED all your charts--charts make me smile. :D Thank you for sharing, and congrats on not only hitting your goal weight, but keeping it off!!
    edited July 2016
  • ejarceneauxejarceneaux Member Posts: 1 Member Member Posts: 1 Member
    wow what an awesome story!! Thank you for sharing . So inspiring and motivating
  • Nightmare_Queen88Nightmare_Queen88 Member Posts: 304 Member Member Posts: 304 Member
    You look amazing. :) Congratulations.
  • KassiesJourneyKassiesJourney Member Posts: 300 Member Member Posts: 300 Member
    You are amazing!
  • casmithiscasmithis Member Posts: 259 Member Member Posts: 259 Member
    WOW, what a great story. I love that you found something you both love to do.
  • ElvenToadElvenToad Member Posts: 644 Member Member Posts: 644 Member
    I can relate to so much of what you said! You have done amazing and your anniversary photos are gorgeous!! Congrats to you :)
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