Mid February marked my first weightlossaversary. On my final check-in for my first year I lost 158 pounds. This rate of loss is not advisable unless, like me, you have/had an extreme amount of weight to lose like I faced. For me the journey is not over but it should be mostly done on my second anniversary.
I have been losing the weight loss war for 3 decades. I have had a few temporary battle wins but the war had gone badly up until last year. I have believed many myths and felt personally cursed. I have never had a sustainable plan.
What changed for me was finally looking back at my past failures and finally learning from my mistakes. I won't cover them all but I will cover the biggest three.
1) Extreme changes lead to extremely early failures. This one leads the pack. Each time I started I thought I needed to make big changes in order to lose weight. Most often it would include some combination of eating "healthy", rigorous exercise, and eating as little as possible. These attempts usually ended with me going a little nutso, eating everything in sight, and then promising that on Monday I would start over. I kept my promise but it was never the next Monday it was months if not years later.
2) I will be happy if I lose weight so that is my main goal. This one ties very closely to number 1. It is a flaw in attitude that basically led me to think I can sacrifice happiness while losing weight because the goal would make happy (happier).
3) I can effectively measure my daily/weekly progress on the bathroom scale. This one has gotten me since I was a teenager.
It is a popular saying that insanity is repeating the same course of action while expecting different results. I guess I was insane for a long time.
Here is what I learned:
1) When I started I realized I should only change the things I needed to lose weight. This meant creating a calorie deficit and experimenting with how I stay full. I didn't do meaningful exercises for months. I ate the way I had been eating just less of it. I have changed a lot since I started but I made small changes over time.
2) The goal is to be happy NOW. By now I mean today. My goal is to get through today as happy as I can. I won't always succeed but when I don't I try to learn from it. My weight loss is a giant forest that can be overwhelming if I think about it too much. My day is a single tree. I only need to get through most of my days in a deficit and let the weight loss take care of itself.
3) My weight is going to fluctuate. Since I started I have learned that my weight is a range of 7.7lbs. The bathroom scale will eventually report my progress but fluctuations can mask my fat loss for weeks at a time. This is another reason to focus on being happy today instead of tying my happiness to a number on the scale. I am not sure this can be linked often enough here: http://physiqonomics.com/the-weird-and-highly-annoying-world-of-scale-weight-and-fluctuations/
I will be happy to answer any questions if any of the above doesn't make total sense but I only claim to be an expert on what it takes to get MYSELF through a successful year of weight loss. I will say that calorie counting definitely works and if you believe that it doesn't you have fallen into one of the many traps I have in the past. For the past 6 months I have tracked my weight loss vs my calorie deficit very closely in a spreadsheet and I have lost my weight at around 3500 calories per pound. It hasn't mattered where the calories have come from which has been everything from broccoli to alcoholic beverages, low-fat yogurt to full fat ice cream, and lean fish to ribeye steaks.
This is a follow-up thread to:https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10722305/my-new-normal