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"...has logged in for 365 days." My Journey So Far.

TheStephil Posts: 858 Member

I’ve logged in for 365 days! I’ve hoped I’d get to this point but when I first started MFP this time around I didn’t know if I’d actually be able to accomplish it. I’ve been considering what to do to celebrate this accomplishment. I was hoping to post before and after photos but most of the pictures I had taken along the journey were on my phone that was destroyed a few months ago and therefore lost forever. I decided I wanted to write about what kept me going this time around. I’m no stranger to MFP and have been here for a few years but the process never stuck until last January.

I know my success isn't as amazing as some others out there for it makes me happy and I just wanted to share.

Did My Research:

Before I started tracking again I started to do some research. I’ve never believed in fad diets and I knew weight loss was simple – calories in vs calories out – but what I couldn’t figure out was how to stick with the MFP diet plan. I searched the success stories threads to find out what worked for others, I found the Eat More To Weigh Less group and learned about BMR and TDEE. After all this research I found out that the plan of losing 2lbs/week at 1200 calories a day was not ideal for my weight loss goal of 30lbs. Every time I tried MFP I would just blindly follow their plan and burn out in a few short weeks and give up.

Arms with my newly acquired knowledge I started my weight loss journey on January 13th, 2013 and have continued to research, learn and grow every step of the way. I no longer blindly follow advice or believe everything I hear. I research and look for examples and decide for myself if that idea is something I want to follow. This has made the experience much more rewarding.

Tried New Things:

My old exercise routine was extremely dull and boring. If I went to the gym I would do 3-4 random weight machines with low weight 10 reps 3 sets then hit the elliptical for 30 minutes. When I didn't have a gym membership my exercise was either nonexistent or I’d occasionally walk but I hated it. This time around I knew from my research that I needed to find a workout routine that I enjoyed. I tried lots of different programs, and gave them a fair shot at being something I’d like. I wouldn't try something for a day then move on but I wouldn't stick with it after a few months if I hated it. I tried and completed the 30 Day Shred DVDs, yoga (disaster!), running, hiking, body weight training, weight machine training, Stronglifts, etc. Changing my routine and trying new exercises has kept me interested and allowed me to find out what I really enjoy – hello free weights!
I also tried new types of food. I am a picky eater and tend to shy away from anything unfamiliar but this year I challenged that and forced myself to try new foods. I tried bison, tried protein powder and drinks, tried new recipes and even tried foods that I previously thought I disliked (and in most cases, still dislike.) Trying new food has opened up my diary to new options and I even discovered that I enjoyed many healthy foods.

Took Lots Of Pictures and Measurements:

I don’t have proof to show you but take my word for it. I took pictures like crazy and measured myself often. I even started using a body fat meter as well. The scale can be tricky and isn't the whole story of how well you are doing. Taking pictures and measurements are two great ways to track progress and having pictures to look back on is a rewarding experience.

Accepted I’m Not Perfect:

My biggest mistake in the past was thinking I had to be perfect with eating better and staying under my calories. This unrealistic expectation made me take it hard when I treated myself or had a bad day and would often lead me to binge eating or sometimes completely stop eating better altogether. Being able to accept that this is a long term process and I’m going to make mistakes is a huge relief. I look at the week overall or even sometimes the month and not just one day. Sometimes I purposely go over on days or even put myself on maintenance for periods of time. I take this journey as it comes and adjust according to my schedule and my goals. You have to learn not to lose your mind because you went over by 6 calories that day, it’s unhealthy and will drive you crazy and may cause you to give up. That’s the biggest lesson I learned.

In Closing:

I’ve learned a lot this past year and grown so much but I still have a long way to go. This isn’t a 50 yard dash but a long road trip with plenty of pit stops and detours. I’m so happy for the amazing year I’ve spent on MFP with all my buddies and know I have a home here for the rest of my life. I’m going to be a 90 year old lady in her garage doing deadlifts and logging my progress on myfitnesspal and I’m completely happy with that. I’ve decided to look into going to school for nutrition and personal wellness and maybe take a detour in my career to pursue that.

Starting Weight: 180lbs
Current Weight: 150lbs

Starting Body Fat: 34.7%
Current Body Fat: 25.3%


I lost a lot of my pictures but here are some I have that I believe showcase some of my journey.

Sometime in 2012 before my journey here started. My weight fluctuated a lot due to being an emotional eater.

Christmas 2012

A Few Months Into My Journey 2013

July 2013

August 2013

October 2013

December 2013


  • TheStephil
    TheStephil Posts: 858 Member
    I'm not one to preach what I believe in or pressure others to follow my plan. However, if you are curious what I've done as far as eating and exercise this past year, here you have it. I focused on staying under my calories as the primary goal for the majority of my year. The last few months I've focused on protein first, calories second, fat third and allowed carbs to fall where they may. I have a hard time getting enough protein if I don't watch it so that's my main focus. I eat ice cream or some kind of dessert almost every day. I eat fast food occasionally and drink diet soda.

    I tried a lot of different exercise routines but settled on strength training as my main focus. I walk daily during my breaks at work and track it with my fitbit. I usually track about 10,000 steps a day during the week. I did body weight strength training in the beginning then migrated to weight machines. I was finally able to get a gym membership and started Stronglifts 5x5. I freaking love it. I've gained a lot of self confidence and self esteem from strength training and watching myself get stronger.
  • JaneE1967
    JaneE1967 Posts: 29 Member
    Awesome results! Thank you for sharing. :drinker:
  • AlanByam
    Smokin, nice work!
  • strangeone25
    strangeone25 Posts: 114 Member
    Way to go! You look amazing and found a what works for you! That's the way to do it!
  • jlgobert
    jlgobert Posts: 41 Member
    outstanding achievment and i love the way you found what worked for you. Congrat's and enjoy your new way of life.!!
  • naomioosting
    naomioosting Posts: 6 Member
    well done :) and inspirational post!
  • IndianPrincess8888
    IndianPrincess8888 Posts: 103 Member
    Great Job !!
  • vjohn04
    vjohn04 Posts: 2,276 Member
    This is a great success story post. Congratulations, Stephanie! So glad you're on my FL!!

    I really think you hit every point that needed to be said. :smile: :smile: :smile: :flowerforyou: :flowerforyou: :flowerforyou:
  • TheStephil
    TheStephil Posts: 858 Member
    Thank you everyone :)
  • Mojoman02
    Mojoman02 Posts: 146 Member
    Good for you!! You are an inspiration to the rest of us!
  • sunshinenjjr
    sunshinenjjr Posts: 137 Member
    Great story. You really hit on a lot of good points. Congrats on your weight loss. Thanks for sharing.:smile:
  • __freckles__
    __freckles__ Posts: 1,238 Member
    Great job Steph!
  • LessthanKris
    LessthanKris Posts: 607 Member
    Congrats and thanks for sharing!
  • TheStephil
    TheStephil Posts: 858 Member
    Thank you everyone.
  • JaimeLaRae
    JaimeLaRae Posts: 279 Member
    Fantastic results!
  • RachelRuns9
    RachelRuns9 Posts: 585 Member
    Wowww congratulations!!! You look great -thanks for sharing!!
  • debbiehunsperger
    You are on an awesome journey Stephanie and thank you for sharing your wisdom with all of us! You have grown strong not only physically but mentally and emotionally during this year and I AM SO PROUD OF YOU! Thank you for inspiring me and helping me get back on track to a healthier lifestyle. Keep up the great work and I cant' want to see where you are at a year from now! Love always, Mom
  • bohojourney
    bohojourney Posts: 22 Member
  • codycsweet
    codycsweet Posts: 1,019 Member
    Wow congrats thank you for sharing I'm in week 2 of shifting my focus to weight training and your story lets me know it's possible.
  • LaraRN
    LaraRN Posts: 128 Member
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