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After a year - over 150lbs lost - learned a few things

NovusDiesNovusDies Member, Premium Posts: 8,943 Member Member, Premium Posts: 8,943 Member
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:

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:



  • nooshi713nooshi713 Member Posts: 4,653 Member Member Posts: 4,653 Member
    Congrats on your progress. Great job!!!
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 21,544 Member Member, Premium Posts: 21,544 Member
    Great post, useful insights!
  • RunnerGrl1982RunnerGrl1982 Member Posts: 412 Member Member Posts: 412 Member
    Congratulations on all you've accomplished. Thank you for sharing this with us! :) Very informative and insightful from your personal experience.
  • palmuphandopenpalmuphandopen Member Posts: 30 Member Member Posts: 30 Member
    Everything you said resonates with me. I've learned a lot this time around too, and I believe I've learned how to get lasting results. Congratulations on finding your way to happiness despite the scale, but still able to celebrate your successes and be proud of yourself!
  • PhirrgusPhirrgus Member Posts: 1,904 Member Member Posts: 1,904 Member
    Congratulations! Not just on the weight loss, but also on learning you don't have to be a slave to old ideas that never worked. Kudos, you earned them 🙂
  • manderson27manderson27 Member Posts: 3,499 Member Member Posts: 3,499 Member
    Thank goodness for common sense. You are a star and your post is exceedingly welcome I hope many many people read it and take away all the good advice contained in it.

    You are amazing and you an inspiration you have had to work hard to get where you are but you havent over complicated it. Well done and all the best for the future.
  • IdontcareyoupickIdontcareyoupick Member Posts: 2,124 Member Member Posts: 2,124 Member
    Happy for you and your revelations
  • nutmegoreonutmegoreo Member Posts: 15,510 Member Member Posts: 15,510 Member
  • jan110144jan110144 Member, Premium Posts: 1,168 Member Member, Premium Posts: 1,168 Member
    Congratulations ... not just on the weight loss, which is super, but on finding a way of living that is going to last. What a great story to share. I hope others who gave an extreme amount of weight to lose find this thread.
  • snowflake954snowflake954 Member Posts: 6,636 Member Member Posts: 6,636 Member
    Very helpful ideas--Happy for your success!
  • kami3006kami3006 Member, Greeter Posts: 4,976 Member Member, Greeter Posts: 4,976 Member
    Beautiful, insightful post. This would make a great "must read" for the Motivation & Support forum!
  • Samantharavenclaw84Samantharavenclaw84 Member Posts: 161 Member Member Posts: 161 Member
    What a beautiful post. Congratulations to you on both your weight loss and your journey through happiness and health.
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