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More than 20 pounds lost, and still gone 6 years later

yellow_pepperyellow_pepper Posts: 708Member Member Posts: 708Member Member
At the end of my freshman year of college, I weighed 155. I had gained 10 pounds that year, and 10 pounds the year before. I was preoccupied with food. I'd try one of every dessert in the dining hall. I'd eat from my roommate's candy supply. I'd snack on pizza or a pint of Haagen Daz at 3 AM, and wash it down with a Jamba Juice. I was not going to the gym. My only exercise was walking around campus and most of my classes were close to my dorm. Every 3 months, I needed a larger pair of pants.

The summer after freshman year, I decided that the time had come to reverse the last two years of weight gain. I started to read up on exercise and nutrition. It was around that time that the celebrity personal trainer Jorge Cruz published a workout plan called "8 minutes a day." The 8-minute plan included 2 weight/strength-training exercises, each for 4 minutes, both on large muscle groups, like your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, biceps and triceps. I also took a 30-minute walk every day. These were the only changes I made that summer, and lost 10 pounds over 3 months. Down to 145.

When I returned to school, I had to change my behavior in the buffet-style dining hall. Instead of my usual danishes, I had a vegetable and cheese omelet. for breakfast. For lunch AND dinner, I had one grilled chicken breast and covered the rest of my dinner plate with raw vegetables from the salad bar, drizzled with light Italian dressing. I would allow myself ONE dessert with dinner, usually a small slice of cake OR a scoop of ice cream. And then I was done for the night. In 2 months, I lost 5 more pounds.

I continued weight lifting and started working out on the elliptical trainer. Unfortunately, I hurt my back around that time and had to slow down for the next 2 months. When I recovered, I got right back on the elliptical trainer, for 30 minutes a day. And I kept up my eating plan. I swear that lean meat and green vegetables is the path to weight loss - no question about it. By the end of sophomore year, I was down to 135. I bought a pair of tailored gray pants in size 4. I still wear them. In fact, they look better than ever.

Since then, my weight has stabilized at 132. I have worn the same clothing size for the last 6 years. When I weigh less than this, I'd say that you see it mostly in my face and torso, where I am already quite thin. To be honest, there comes a point when you look worse after you lose another pound!

So why am I here now? I am using this site mostly to self-police my eating habits. There have been times when I lost my bearings, and the scale creeped back up to 135 and hung out there for a bit. But those first 3 pounds back down to 132 have always been pretty easy. A little more fiber, a little less starch, and down it goes within a few days. I'd like to see whether it is possible for me to get back into the mid-120s while I'm in my mid-20s, because I know it won't get easier.

On the whole, however, I feel very happy with my body. I have made a lifestyle change for good - before I hit my peak weight, I could never say no to free food, to sweets, to pizza - and now I readily say no to almost everything that I did not PLAN to eat in advance. And I have become a real runner, something I never thought I could be even when I was at the height of my career in competitive swimming (which was at a national competition qualifying level).

As I move forward, and continue to keep off the weight I've lost, I rely on a number of mantras, which I remember in times of temptation. I will share the most important ones for me here:

1. Haagen Daz is the devil.
When I'm serious about losing weight, I never allow a pint of ice cream into my freezer.

2. Don't buy any groceries that you feel "excited" to eat.
If I can't wait to eat it, I know that I'll eat the whole thing.

3. Only single-serving treats.
If I want a treat, I can have one serving: a kid's cup of ice cream, one or two truffles, and I'm done.

4. 2 glasses of wine, 2 beers, or 2 vodka sodas.
There's no faster way to gain weight than drinking mixed drinks. Don't get me wrong: I love margaritas, but if I have one, I'm prepared for the consequences.

5. Never eat free food.
If I didn't buy it, I probably don't know WHAT I'm eating, let alone how much. I believe that there is a real connection in our minds between dollars and calories, and the cheaper food is, the more likely I am to have too much of it. If it has a cost, I'll think about it before I eat a lot of it. And in the end, I actually save money - total dollars spent on food is lower, even if dollars per unit is higher.

Those are my top 5 mantras for keeping 20 pounds off! I hope that some of you give them a try and let me know if they help you to stay strong in the face of temptation.

And finally (though I know this is getting long), what I consider the most important lesson I've learned:

To be thin AND happy, you need to ENJOY burning calories MORE than eating calories.

The key word here is enjoy. We'll only do what we LIKE to do for a lifetime. And we'll choose what we like MORE over what we like LESS. I have learned to take "walk breaks" instead of snack breaks, and to sit in the sun for a few minutes instead of drinking another coffee when I feel tired. There is a full buffet of uplifting things to do in the world that don't involve eating. The trick is to find the ones that make you forget food and just live.

Replies

  • yellow_pepperyellow_pepper Posts: 708Member Member Posts: 708Member Member
    At the end of my freshman year of college, I weighed 155. I had gained 10 pounds that year, and 10 pounds the year before. I was preoccupied with food. I'd try one of every dessert in the dining hall. I'd eat from my roommate's candy supply. I'd snack on pizza or a pint of Haagen Daz at 3 AM, and wash it down with a Jamba Juice. I was not going to the gym. My only exercise was walking around campus and most of my classes were close to my dorm. Every 3 months, I needed a larger pair of pants.

    The summer after freshman year, I decided that the time had come to reverse the last two years of weight gain. I started to read up on exercise and nutrition. It was around that time that the celebrity personal trainer Jorge Cruz published a workout plan called "8 minutes a day." The 8-minute plan included 2 weight/strength-training exercises, each for 4 minutes, both on large muscle groups, like your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, biceps and triceps. I also took a 30-minute walk every day. These were the only changes I made that summer, and lost 10 pounds over 3 months. Down to 145.

    When I returned to school, I had to change my behavior in the buffet-style dining hall. Instead of my usual danishes, I had a vegetable and cheese omelet. for breakfast. For lunch AND dinner, I had one grilled chicken breast and covered the rest of my dinner plate with raw vegetables from the salad bar, drizzled with light Italian dressing. I would allow myself ONE dessert with dinner, usually a small slice of cake OR a scoop of ice cream. And then I was done for the night. In 2 months, I lost 5 more pounds.

    I continued weight lifting and started working out on the elliptical trainer. Unfortunately, I hurt my back around that time and had to slow down for the next 2 months. When I recovered, I got right back on the elliptical trainer, for 30 minutes a day. And I kept up my eating plan. I swear that lean meat and green vegetables is the path to weight loss - no question about it. By the end of sophomore year, I was down to 135. I bought a pair of tailored gray pants in size 4. I still wear them. In fact, they look better than ever.

    Since then, my weight has stabilized at 132. I have worn the same clothing size for the last 6 years. When I weigh less than this, I'd say that you see it mostly in my face and torso, where I am already quite thin. To be honest, there comes a point when you look worse after you lose another pound!

    So why am I here now? I am using this site mostly to self-police my eating habits. There have been times when I lost my bearings, and the scale creeped back up to 135 and hung out there for a bit. But those first 3 pounds back down to 132 have always been pretty easy. A little more fiber, a little less starch, and down it goes within a few days. I'd like to see whether it is possible for me to get back into the mid-120s while I'm in my mid-20s, because I know it won't get easier.

    On the whole, however, I feel very happy with my body. I have made a lifestyle change for good - before I hit my peak weight, I could never say no to free food, to sweets, to pizza - and now I readily say no to almost everything that I did not PLAN to eat in advance. And I have become a real runner, something I never thought I could be even when I was at the height of my career in competitive swimming (which was at a national competition qualifying level).

    As I move forward, and continue to keep off the weight I've lost, I rely on a number of mantras, which I remember in times of temptation. I will share the most important ones for me here:

    1. Haagen Daz is the devil.
    When I'm serious about losing weight, I never allow a pint of ice cream into my freezer.

    2. Don't buy any groceries that you feel "excited" to eat.
    If I can't wait to eat it, I know that I'll eat the whole thing.

    3. Only single-serving treats.
    If I want a treat, I can have one serving: a kid's cup of ice cream, one or two truffles, and I'm done.

    4. 2 glasses of wine, 2 beers, or 2 vodka sodas.
    There's no faster way to gain weight than drinking mixed drinks. Don't get me wrong: I love margaritas, but if I have one, I'm prepared for the consequences.

    5. Never eat free food.
    If I didn't buy it, I probably don't know WHAT I'm eating, let alone how much. I believe that there is a real connection in our minds between dollars and calories, and the cheaper food is, the more likely I am to have too much of it. If it has a cost, I'll think about it before I eat a lot of it. And in the end, I actually save money - total dollars spent on food is lower, even if dollars per unit is higher.

    Those are my top 5 mantras for keeping 20 pounds off! I hope that some of you give them a try and let me know if they help you to stay strong in the face of temptation.

    And finally (though I know this is getting long), what I consider the most important lesson I've learned:

    To be thin AND happy, you need to ENJOY burning calories MORE than eating calories.

    The key word here is enjoy. We'll only do what we LIKE to do for a lifetime. And we'll choose what we like MORE over what we like LESS. I have learned to take "walk breaks" instead of snack breaks, and to sit in the sun for a few minutes instead of drinking another coffee when I feel tired. There is a full buffet of uplifting things to do in the world that don't involve eating. The trick is to find the ones that make you forget food and just live.
  • iluvsparklesiluvsparkles Posts: 1,730Member Member Posts: 1,730Member Member
    thank you so much for sharing! you have really really inspired me. Your college self sounds just like my college self. I stayed around 155 give or take on the same type of eating habits you described. now that im in a desk job, its tough for me. You described exactly how im beginning to feel towards my food/health/exercise...and that alone inspries me to keep striving harder! id LOVE to be 130 lbs tho my goal is 135-140 right now. I still have a ways to go, but reading this helped me to realize that its possible! thank you soooo much!
  • yellow_pepperyellow_pepper Posts: 708Member Member Posts: 708Member Member
    Shalom and thank you for your kind response! If I could do it, so can you. :flowerforyou:
  • hideandseekhideandseek Posts: 47Member Posts: 47Member
    Thanks for this. How tall are you?
  • Shannon023Shannon023 Posts: 14,577Member Member Posts: 14,577Member Member
    Awesome YP!!

    It's very inspirational to read about someone keeping the weight off. I've lost 54 pounds & I still wake up expecting to see the heavier me. I hope 6-years down the line I can write a similar tale as you! :smile:

    Good job! :flowerforyou:
  • yellow_pepperyellow_pepper Posts: 708Member Member Posts: 708Member Member
    Thanks for this. How tall are you?

    I'm 5' 5". I was a size 12 at 155 and I am a size 4-6 now.
  • yellow_pepperyellow_pepper Posts: 708Member Member Posts: 708Member Member
    Awesome YP!!

    It's very inspirational to read about someone keeping the weight off. I've lost 54 pounds & I still wake up expecting to see the heavier me. I hope 6-years down the line I can write a similar tale as you! :smile:

    Good job! :flowerforyou:

    Thanks, Shannon ... You look great. And I empathize with how you feel ... It takes time for the mind to catch up with the body. When I first lost weight I saw myself as my old body squeezed tightly into my new body, and ready to bulge out the moment I missed a workout or ate an extra slice of bread.

    So do what you need to do to bring your mind up to speed! Whether that's buying new clothes or sitting for some professional photos! Or even getting a new 'do - though I do hope you keep it longer ... :wink:
  • cp005ecp005e Posts: 1,495Member Member Posts: 1,495Member Member
    Excellent post - and good for you that you learned these lessons early on! Thanks for sharing. :flowerforyou:
  • FitJoaniFitJoani Posts: 2,173Member Member Posts: 2,173Member Member
    Thank you you just showed that real and total transformation is attainable. You also proved you can keep it off. HUGS HUGS HUGS!!! Great job. An excellent post
  • beepbeep Posts: 1,242Member Member Posts: 1,242Member Member
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