Lost almost 100 lbs and gained it all back+!

Hi, my name is Heidi. I am new here, but not to My Fitness Pal. I am 41 years old and have struggled with obesity since childhood. A few years back I decided to get help and was diagnosed with binge eating disorder and bulimia (from years of laxative and "cleanse" abuse). I was put on the medications Topamax and phentramine. I was on a diet program called HMR, and saw a dietician once a week in group sessions with other obese patients, some of whom were prepping for weight loss surgery but had to lose some weight first. I lost 96 lbs over 2 years (down to 193 from 289) and was 28 lbs away from my goal weight (165) when I relapsed and gained it all back plus almost 20 lbs more with a year's time. I am now at 308 lbs, the heaviest I have ever been.

My biggest challenge now is my lack of motivation to "do it all again" - all of the hard work, with the chance that I may just gain it all back yet again plus even more. It was such, such hard work, both physically and emotionally and I am just DREADING doing it again, if I am just going to end up back here again. I honestly don't know if I can handle that type of failure. I am just wondering if anyone else has gone through this and if so, how did you overcome it? Some words of inspiration would be much appreciated and once I am back on the wagon, I will be a great motivator in return, as I once was. Thank you everyone! - Heidi
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Replies

  • CherylP67
    CherylP67 Posts: 772 Member
    You're not guaranteed to gain the weight back. You've had a relapse of your medical condition. You may not want to start again, but where will you be in a year if you don't grab control?

    You have to find the motivation if you want to be successful. We can support you, but we can't make you want to do it.
  • sammi674
    sammi674 Posts: 41
    Look at it as an advantage, not a failure! You've lost weight before. You know your body will lose weight if you stick to it, because it has before. During that journey, you learned a lot that will come invaluable this time to not only lose it, but keep it off as well. So this can only make you stronger and much more likely to keep it off since you know what you're doing now. Also, it's never to early to make a plan for maintenance. Figure out what made you regain, and tackle that during your new journey. Was your plan too restricting? Did life get too hectic, or was it too big of an adjustment? It might help to find the reasons why the regain happened, then tackle that issue early into your journey. Go in with a plan and new determination to keep it off forever. You said you were dreading doing it over again, try to focus on the fun parts. Did you like trying new recipes? Or were there any exercises you loved that you look forward to doing again? You can do this!
  • oskybosky4
    oskybosky4 Posts: 62
    I agree, you have to WANT to do it. Eating healthy food is not a chore nor a punishment. True its not always easy but its not hard either if you keep a positive mindset and just do it one day at a time. Watch your portion sizes, weigh the food if you have to rather than guess, you will soon learn what a portion size looks like. OK a piece of cheese the size of a matchbox doesn't sound much but slice it thinly and it goes a long way.

    A lot of people on here have medical conditions and are not as young as they once were but you can still loose weight, even a pound a week is better than gaining a pound a week.

    In reality I have to loose 100+ but I am focusing on loosing 1lb a week, if I loose 2 or more than that's a bonus. So far I am about a quarter of the way there, in about 20 weeks and I am very happy. I know I could cut out the butter and the snacks and increase my exercise and probably I would be loosing faster but I do not want to feel I am depriving myself so 6g of butter on my slice of toast is really no big deal and I enjoy the toast so much better.

    I suppose what I am trying to say is that you can do it, it doesn't need to be hard and quick, you don't have to feel deprived, you can have the things you like - just be careful how much of you have and keep a food diary to keep a check on the calories.
  • SidsMom80
    SidsMom80 Posts: 97 Member
    I've struggled with my weight for years also. I gain and lose,gain and lose. I get so angry when the weight creeps back on, decide I'm fine being a larger woman, then get fed up and go through the dieting process. I reached my heaviest, and the straw that broke the camels back was not being able to tie my shoes. I'm hoping this will the last time I yo-yo. I'm working really hard to change all my habits,and make it a lifestyle change not just a diet.

    It's scary to think about failing and gaining the weight back, but just take it one pound at a time. Be proud of the victories,and don't punish yourself too much if you fall. Feel free to add me if you'd like.
  • Neeser926
    Neeser926 Posts: 100 Member
    I once weighed 320 pounds.
    I ate right, exercised and got down to around 215. My goal was 180.
    Twenty five years later I weighed 318.
    I am eating right, exercising and now at 203. My goal is 185.
    I can't even blame an illness. I just stopped caring.
    No, its not easy, but you can do it. You just have to want to.
  • LisaDunn01
    LisaDunn01 Posts: 173 Member
    Hi, Heidi. Though I wasn't 100 pounds+ overweight, I do know what it's like to have an eating disorder and to struggle with body image and weight. The most I gained was 60 pounds in 9 months. At one time (when I was a teenager) I was put on Imipramine. It "helped" but I didn't want to be dependent on medication as I wanted a permanent, natural solution to my issues.

    With that said, here are a few of the things I have found that helped me.

    1. I had to let go of the scale and the numbers on the scale. The more I stayed OFF the scale, the healthier my attitude was toward myself and life. And the more my weight normalized. At age 47, I bounce between 110 and 114 pounds. (I'm 5'3".) I weigh myself once a month.
    2. I had to look at making lifestyle changes. Because they are lifestyle changes, I allowed myself to take baby steps. For example, if you drink 15 cokes a day reduce to 14 cokes a day and do that for a week or two, keeping everything else the same. Then take the next step. Another example of a baby step: Allow yourself to eat what you want and as much as you want, as long as it's "whole food" (meaning, it doesn't come in a package that needs preparation and isn't fast food): simply proteins, fruits, vegetables, nuts, healthy oils (butter - though some will disagree with this, olive oil, hemp oil, flax oil, olive oil). What I'm saying is YOU decide on the one (and ONLY ONE) thing you want or feel you can do and then do that. It's too overwhelming to slam in a complete overhaul.
  • deeps4u
    deeps4u Posts: 9 Member
    I did some research recently and came to know that phenthramine (trade name "Duromine' )is known to do that. Its very effective for rapid weightloss, but is addictive and once you are off it... u gain every pound back again. Besides..... it really must have led u throught heavy sleeplessness, loss of appetite and blottedness.
    http://www.bellybelly.com.au/forums/f175/anyone-used-duromine-tablets-lose-weight-65260/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phentermine
    I hope the above link will serve as a reference when u decide on giving it a try again.

    As for me... am on a long weightloss journey myself with 50 kgs to lose and yes.. I also have a tendency to put on lost weight. And I often lose hope for a long time after that... only to find that I have further fattened. Had I atleast maintained the exercise or diet.. I would be able to control the pileup. Also, the system nearly crashes when a lot of weight is gained suddenly .. like when I had regained 10 kgs in a month, my system just refused and gave me high bp and leg cramps when I went to g
    ym.
    I think.. the only way out of this is yo-yo syndrome is persistence - not just till u reach the goal weight but even after that and not let even one week pass by without keeping track of weight.

    Currently, lost 6 kgs after 3 months efforts. (Slow but steady). And I taste freedom. I have resolved to continue till the rest of my life so that I will never be prey to this yo yo syndrome and reap the benefits of staying healthy throughout life.
  • AnnaMarieDinVa
    AnnaMarieDinVa Posts: 162 Member
    I have no advice, just would like to wish you well on your journey!!
  • ShrinkingShona
    ShrinkingShona Posts: 241 Member
    I am currently on HMR and have lost 100lbs in the last year. If you have been through the core part of the program then you have many of the skills you will need to be successful - you know about logging, about making good food choices, you have skills to get you through holidays etc. \

    What no one can do is ignite the spark in you that make you give a **** about yourself and your future. You have to find that within yourself. You are already talking in terms of "if I gain the weight back" which suggests to me that you need to develop an athlete's mind about this - get strong, start believing you are worth it, believe you can do it (since you have already before!), know that you want it and that you will do what it takes to get there. I think the mental battle is the biggest thing for most of us since we all sure as hell know that broccoli is better for us than cake.

    You can spend the next 2 years being afraid of failure (or success) and doing nothing, or you can work back to your goals. Either way the time will go by. It's up to you to make that time count. I look forward to seeing you post in the Success Stories forum. You know you can do it.
  • dakotababy
    dakotababy Posts: 2,401 Member
    I am going to be totally honest. Reading your experience put a shock of fear through my entire body, and I almost felt like getting sick. Just realizing that relapse is always possible for so many of us, as hopeful and determined we all may be. We never really know what the future will hold for us.

    One thing I often tell myself, and the one thing I realized that got me motivated to workout and eat healthy is the idea that "If I don't do something, I am only going to get bigger and bigger". That is 100% black and white. Despite wishing I would wake up one morning and be thin and in shape and could run for miles without keeling over and dying on a sidewalk 2 houses away from my own...I knew wishing is not going to cut it.

    Why do you want to lose weight? What motivates you to make this change? Keep a journal for yourself with your progress!
    What worked well last time? What did not work? Where did things start to "slip"?

    You did it once, you can do it again. Don't give up, because as long as you keep going - no matter what - you WILL get to your goal (even if you have to do it 10000000 times over...it will be worth it once you get it!)
  • gmallan
    gmallan Posts: 2,099 Member
    Hey at least you know that you have done it before therefore you CAN do it! It is possible! You just need to find something to motivate yourself. Just know that you are worth the effort
  • Hi Heidi

    Just know that you CAN loose that weight again. You've done it before. You can do it again!

    I too have lost a lot of weight, then put it all on... plus more! I always regret giving up on my weight loss journey, as all that hard work went to waste. So i will NOT allow that to happen again. You can either go back to the way you were (overweight and unhappy), or do something about it and change your future! Who wants to be old & overweight??? No one.

    Have faith in yourself that you can loose that weight again. And learn from your lessons, just DON'T GIVE UP. EVER.

    I would suggest breaking down your weight loss into smaller goals. Don't look at the bigger picture, yet.
    Just focus on eating healthy first, bring in some exercise, then look at what goals you want to set for yourself.
    You need to have faith in yourself and believe you can do anything you put your mind to!!! :)

    My favourite quote ever -- "If your tired of starting over, stop giving up!!"
  • Bettyeditor
    Bettyeditor Posts: 327 Member
    Strategies to lose weight in a healthy, permanent way:

    1) Lose slowly. Studies show that a max of 1-3 pounds a week lost has the lowest relapse rate.

    2) Make permanent lifestyle changes. In other words, refuse to diet. Instead, acquire the habits of a lean person.

    3) Make this your mantra: "I refuse to do anything to lose weight that I am not willing to do the rest of my life to maintain it." This means that drastic cuts in calories is OUT. Exercising 6 times a week for 2 hours is OUT. Learn to lose in a slow, balanced, sustainable way. Acquire eating and exercising habits that are moderate, balanced, and sustainable for you.

    4) Learn everything you can about calories, exercise, losing weight, how to have a lean, healthy lifestyle, etc. You have mastered how to be a fat person. Now get busy learning the skills, knowledge, and strategies of how to be a lean person. There is no single strategy, no magic bullet. But there is a lot of knowledge and skills that you need to acquire.

    5) Forgive yourself. If you are full of self-loathing and blame, you will be susceptible to counter-productive behaviors such as flagellating yourself with over-exercising, punishing yourself with under-eating, and giving up on yourself by "throwing in the towel" at the smallest mistake. It's not the end of the world that you got overweight. It happens. (Look around you in MFP: you are not alone! :flowerforyou: )

    6) Get support. You are in the right place! There are lots of great people here. Study the forums, find the ones with positive attitudes and a balanced, productive approach to weight loss. Get on their friend list. If you find someone on your friend list who is toxic and extreme, don't be afraid to delete them. They say that you are the average of the six people closest to you. Surround yourself with people who are where you want to be!

    7) Keep yourself inspired. We all get down at times. Read the Success Stories thread often. :glasses:

    Best of luck to you on your journey!
  • kdeaux1959
    kdeaux1959 Posts: 2,675 Member
    Yup, been there done that; working on not doing it again.

    1985, lost from about 260 to 170 (yeah, too thin), became unemployed and rapidly regained much of the weight and eventually regained up to about 270 or so over a period of a few years. -- lost weight over a period of about 6 months and regained it after about 2 months and was back up to around 240 or so within a few months.

    1992. My pastor (who I thought a lot of) was into running and I got out and got into it as well.. Dropped from about 260/70 to 199 before I hurt my knees on a run. Met my girlfriend who later became my fiancee and my wife and it was another rapid cycle... Down in about 6 months and back up about as fast.

    2005 Got up to about 330 and really started feeling it. Dropped weight in about 6 months down to about 260, changed eating habits (thought they were healthy ones but they were Southern Comfort foods)... did not keep up with it after that and rebounded back up within the year.

    2012 Got up to about 344 and my wife said she was going to work on losing weight. I dropped weight a little more slowly this time (about 12-17 lbs per month vs the 20 or so lbs per month before and started weight training early on. I am now into my 18th month in the journey and I am maintaining fairly well. I dropped weight fairly moderately until I got under 240 then dropped closer to a 1 pound per week loss rate rather than the 3 - 4 lbs per week. I have maintained my weight better and though I am at or near maintenance, I still have fitness goals. MFP has allowed me to continue to log and monitor what I am doing. I realize that if I am to stay down this time, I have to continue to monitor my intake and outflow closely. So far it has worked.

    Recommendation? Work at it. Get it down. As you approach your goal slow your process. When you arrive where you are going just keep some kind of goal ahead of you... for me, it is strength.. but I keep going.. I keep logging. And so far, I have successfully maintained a below obesity rate for about 6-8 months now.
  • Cindyinpg
    Cindyinpg Posts: 3,902 Member
    Strategies to lose weight in a healthy, permanent way:

    1) Lose slowly. Studies show that a max of 1-3 pounds a week lost has the lowest relapse rate.

    2) Make permanent lifestyle changes. In other words, refuse to diet. Instead, acquire the habits of a lean person.

    3) Make this your mantra: "I refuse to do anything to lose weight that I am not willing to do the rest of my life to maintain it." This means that drastic cuts in calories is OUT. Exercising 6 times a week for 2 hours is OUT. Learn to lose in a slow, balanced, sustainable way. Acquire eating and exercising habits that are moderate, balanced, and sustainable for you.

    4) Learn everything you can about calories, exercise, losing weight, how to have a lean, healthy lifestyle, etc. You have mastered how to be a fat person. Now get busy learning the skills, knowledge, and strategies of how to be a lean person. There is no single strategy, no magic bullet. But there is a lot of knowledge and skills that you need to acquire.

    5) Forgive yourself. If you are full of self-loathing and blame, you will be susceptible to counter-productive behaviors such as flagellating yourself with over-exercising, punishing yourself with under-eating, and giving up on yourself by "throwing in the towel" at the smallest mistake. It's not the end of the world that you got overweight. It happens. (Look around you in MFP: you are not alone! :flowerforyou: )

    6) Get support. You are in the right place! There are lots of great people here. Study the forums, find the ones with positive attitudes and a balanced, productive approach to weight loss. Get on their friend list. If you find someone on your friend list who is toxic and extreme, don't be afraid to delete them. They say that you are the average of the six people closest to you. Surround yourself with people who are where you want to be!

    7) Keep yourself inspired. We all get down at times. Read the Success Stories thread often. :glasses:

    Best of luck to you on your journey!
    I was going to answer you until I saw all the great advice you've already received. I love the bit here from Bettyeditor that I bolded above. To me it is all about sustainability. I do not dread the process anymore because I do not deprive myself of food i love (in moderation) and have found ways of exercising that I enjoy.
  • EDesq
    EDesq Posts: 1,543 Member
    STOP the Insanity!!! Stop dieting and make a Lifestyle Change, that is the ONLY way you can be assured of NOT regaining weight! There is NO quick fix, as you are a witness to, no little pill that will guarantee success...meaning for Life. Start NOW with a SENSIBLE eating plan and MODERATE exercise plan. GIVE yourself TIME to lose weight (because your Body has been through the trauma of Recent weight loss and regain, it may be a bit tired) so be patient with yourself and kind to yourself (NOT Indulgent!).

    A good start would be something like 1500-1600 cals per day and walk one half to 1 mile 4 days per week and some simple calisthenics for toning on days you do not walk for 15 min.. Don't try to "speed" up success by doing low calories and/or a crazy exercise routine, all that will do is make you hungry, binge, cheat, frustrated...fail!

    Just Do It and motivation will come, OH and FORGET that scale! Maybe weigh ONCE a Month!
  • heidibluegirl
    heidibluegirl Posts: 32 Member
    I appreciate the support and totally agree!
  • heidibluegirl
    heidibluegirl Posts: 32 Member
    Thank you. Yes, yes. The insanity... trying to stop it. It IS the problem! ha!
  • heidibluegirl
    heidibluegirl Posts: 32 Member
    Look at it as an advantage, not a failure! You've lost weight before. You know your body will lose weight if you stick to it, because it has before. During that journey, you learned a lot that will come invaluable this time to not only lose it, but keep it off as well. So this can only make you stronger and much more likely to keep it off since you know what you're doing now. Also, it's never to early to make a plan for maintenance. Figure out what made you regain, and tackle that during your new journey. Was your plan too restricting? Did life get too hectic, or was it too big of an adjustment? It might help to find the reasons why the regain happened, then tackle that issue early into your journey. Go in with a plan and new determination to keep it off forever. You said you were dreading doing it over again, try to focus on the fun parts. Did you like trying new recipes? Or were there any exercises you loved that you look forward to doing again? You can do this!
    Thank you- you are totally right! Yes- I do enjoying trying new recipes and going for hikes. I'll focus more on the fun parts. Thanks!
  • RAEQ127
    RAEQ127 Posts: 106 Member
    I understand the frustration with having to "lose it all again". While I haven't had weight loss and gain to that extent I am battling to lose 35 I put back on and then a whole bunch more. This time I feel is different because I'm not trying to lose weight for a reason. There is no trip, or wedding, or what have you coming up in my life that I feel the need to do it for. I keep reminding myself that time will pass regardless of what you do, so I can either A. keep trying even when it seems fruitless or B. I can continue to be obese, but either way in 5 years it will be 5 years later I so I may as well work toward something in that time frame...

    Oh! And I also see you have 120 lbs to lose. I have 117 to go. You're not alone. =)