Advice from Successful People, please?

BlueGooMoose Posts: 2 Member
edited November 2023 in Getting Started
I'm 18, live in muggy / humid Tampa, FL, and I just graduated Highschool. I've been over-weight ever since I was little due to my parents having not being able to afford better foods when I was at a young age, or they were really hard to come by. I've tried many things with my parents, but it just never works out. They say I'm not 'dedicated' enough and that I never try. We've tried Nutrisystem, South Beach Diet, and a few others, and my mother has shown impressive ways in losing weight. But, due to her being so.. ignorant to how I feel about my weight and how I feel in general, it's harder seeing her as a role-model. She never did quite understand the life of an over-weight child going through school, having been very skinny herself through-out her school years. Anyway, enough about me.

I was wondering if there is anyone that would be more willing to help me out with just the first week.
I never was one to write down everything I ate, but I am starting to feel maybe that is where I went wrong this whole time?
Maybe I've just been unaware of how much I've actually been consuming, but I don't really eat that much.

Age: 18
Weight: 278
Goal Weight: Atleast 200 or 180.
Specific time in which I want to lose all of it: I don't care. I just know I need to be doing something with myself.

Please, please, please. If you're willing or you have something to add to what I've already said for advice.. Don't be shy.
I will really appreciate your gesture and help for my problem.


  • xapril77x
    xapril77x Posts: 248 Member
    Just start out logging ur food & see how many calories you've actually been eating per day & go down from there... a scale 2 measure ur portions would help a lot too... I'm not that great at all this & am pretty new but I've learned TONS here so far... I'm SO thankful I found this place & the ppl here... but it's pretty confusing if u have no idea about "healthy" like me when I 1st joined... So, that's why I think u should start with finding out how many calories u have been consuming & lower that amount if it is too much & then as u get in2 everything here you'll learn all about TDEE & BMR, etc... It took me a lil while & add some friends & watch what they do... That was VERY helpful 4 me... Best wishes!
  • moss11
    moss11 Posts: 236 Member
    Well you have already been successful by coming on here and making an effort to do something about your unhappiness with your weight.
    I could share with you that yes-your right logging and counting calories would be very helpful. I have been doing that for over a year. You really learn the calorific amount of each portion. You should also weigh amounts, get a digital scale and weigh absolutely everything. No sneaky nuts the odd biscuit, meat, cheese portion they ALL get weighed. I do this 90% of the time obviously there are times when it's not possible. Don't under eat, reading posts will guide you to various sites that calculate what you need to be eating to lose. Don't try and lose too much too quickly, I really like the way you say you don't have a deadline, that takes the pressure off and you want to be thinking about long term changing your food choices permanently so that the weight doesn't pile back on! There are lots of different groups on here that follow different plans. Have a look through them and try to find a manageable way of gradually reducing your weight whilst still enjoying your eating and not feeling too deprived! You DO NOT need to starve and be miserable to reduce weight, but you DO need to be patient! :drinker: you can do this:happy:
  • joshdann
    joshdann Posts: 618 Member
    you will probably get a ton of responses telling you to do many different things that will probably be at odds with each other. In my opinion, you have a couple of major things at play here that you will need to figure out how to address for yourself. Please don't take that as dismissive, I definitely don't mean it that way. I just mean that at 18 years old you're most likely still figuring out many things about yourself. What will work for you, what won't, how you best handle different situations, etc.

    Your first major issue is, as you said, knowing what you're eating. Logging on a site like this one will definitely help. You might want to weigh your food, and if you do that can be a very accurate way to know precisely what you're taking in. Even if you don't go that far do log everything. If you truly have 100+ pounds to lose, it doesn't take a high level of precision to get your intake where it needs to be. I would recommend starting without weighing food (but still logging, of course), then deciding if weighing food is something that will help you or if it will ultimately burn you out.

    Your second major issue is figuring out how much physical activity you are willing to do, or even capable of doing. In my experience, the more you really start to enjoy exercising, the less likely you are to stop. Finding what you like may not be easy at first but when you find it, you will probably want to add more and more. As you lose weight and gain conditioning, you will find that you *can* do more than you used to. I highly recommend strength training but I also know that it can be intimidating and overwhelming at first. Remember one thing: 99% of the time, nobody else cares how much you're lifting or how quickly you're progressing. The simple fact that you are in the weight room at all demonstrates a level of commitment and enthusiasm for your own fitness that should and eventually will make you feel proud.

    The last thing is figuring out what eating plan works for you. You can consider the amount of extra fat you have right now as a blessing. It gives you several major benefits (aside from the obvious negatives). Your copious fat stores mean that you body can tolerate a large deficit and fast initial weight loss without sustaining major damage. It can feel pretty good to see the weight fall off at first and can get you over that initial hump of adopting the new regime. Also, you're basically walking around with a 100+ lb weight vest *all the time*. Every bit of walking, jogging, running, hiking, swimming, etc that you do will initially be more effective. Imagine a 185lb fit guy doing all of that stuff while carrying two 50 lb dumbbells. It's not a *direct* comparison but the concept does apply. One other thing to consider: as you progress, you will almost certainly get more and more dedicated. This will cause your general level of confidence and natural "swagger" to skyrocket, especially at your age. Just imagine the effect that will have on all the ladies ;)

    I really hope you find a way to get to where you want to be. It's not a fast journey, but there are little benefits all along the way. Your life will improve with every step you make in the right direction.

    FWIW, I did something very similar at your age. when I was 19-20 I dropped 85 lbs. One of my biggest regrets in life is that I got lazy and let the weight slowly creep back on. 20-24yrs old was a pretty cool time in my life. I'm a month away from 34 now and trying to get that level of fitness back. I can do it, and so can you. You got this :)
  • RebekahR84
    RebekahR84 Posts: 794 Member
    Feel free to add me. I've had success in the past with Weight Watchers, by the way, because I've never had a good nutrion role model either. I don't do their program anymore, but it's a good place to start. And I don't mean the on-line thing. It sounds to me like you need face-to-face support. And that is what they provide at their meetings. The people there are very motivational.
  • BlueGooMoose
    BlueGooMoose Posts: 2 Member
    Thanks for all the replies! And yes, there is a need of encouragement / support that would really help me. And I'm not trying to make myself sound all desperate or very displeased with how my parents raised me. I know what they've done, with the whole trying to get me to workout more and such, was just because they were concerned for me. But my mother has very.. 'interesting' ways of support.

    1) Gloating of her success
    2) Saying I'm never going to be happy unless I do it exactly as she says
    3) And if I miss one day of exercise, because I'm not feeling well enough to do them, she'd just be like "Oh, sure. I bet you won't do it tomorrow."

    I understand what she's trying to do. I don't compete, I hate that. Because I've always been the one to lose them, and she's making it a game and I don't want a game. I just wanted a mother who would be there for support, not just to be another person in my life that I felt like I had to beat at everything.

    Now I'm suffering mild depression, and I feel like it gets worse everyday I live in this house. And I know ,partially, that it's also my weight since she's commented " The reason you might not have a job is because maybe they're looking for people who look like they're physically capable of working."
  • joshdann
    joshdann Posts: 618 Member
    ok so I completely missed the fact that you are female. Assuming you like guys, please swap "ladies" for "men" in my post ;)
  • SkimFlatWhite68
    SkimFlatWhite68 Posts: 1,254 Member
    Darling girl, you have started here and that is the first step.

    I agree with the above, that you are at an age where you will be finding yourself and your place in the world, and that is SUCH a good thing, because you have your whole life in front of you, and can make positive changes now, rather than in your 40's when it would be so much harder.

    Read the sexy pants thread!

    Find your TDEE and eat 500 less than that a week. Log EVERYTHING that you eat. Exercise is 70-80% of the weight loss equation and so concentrate on your food, if you can do a bit of exercise, that's good too.

    Re your mother... Honey, her problems are not yours. Find a way to acknowledge your parents, but you don't have to agree with what they say, and/or take on their negativity. From the film Madagascar.... "Smile and wave"

    Read books, listen to nutrition and fitness podcasts and find your path in the world. A better body awaits you.
  • SezxyStef
    SezxyStef Posts: 15,268 Member
    First things first...acknowledge it wasn't the quality of the food but rather the quantity is the reason you are overweight.

    Get a kitchen scale and weigh your food accuratly and record it each day and don't go over your limits. Either set by MFP or TDEE as mentioned above. If you choose the MFP method eat back exercise calories (to a degree as their burns are typically over acutals) if you can get a HRM with a chest strap use that to measure calories burned.

    Exercise...but don't think that is the end all...I read this a couple times on these forums and it's can't outrun a bad other words you can't exercise then eat whatever you like.

    But do not and this can't be stressed enough think that eating a low calorie diet will wont. You may lose at first but it can't be maintained. It took more then a few months to get at this weight it will take more then a few months to lose it.

    Read that thread Sara pointed you to...

    As for your Mom...she is just trying to help but explain to her it's not helping and you just need a different kind of support in a respectful mom wants her child to be unhappy and I am sure she isn't trying to hurt you only help...she just needs pointed in a different direction (coming from a mom).

    Good luck...
  • madaleingericke
    madaleingericke Posts: 49 Member
    You'll simply have to get over your "mom-daughter" hangups. Talk to yourself - fix this. (You're probably misreading her intentions.)

    As for "mild depression." Have you actually been diagnosed by a trained professional as "mildly" depressive?
    Even light exercise will release the feel-good hormones (endorphin) in your body, and that will already be a step in the right direction.

    Then just continue - and take many, many more steps...
  • MissMormie
    MissMormie Posts: 359 Member
    My advice? Make it as easy as you can for yourself. First of all this requires a bit of information.

    Step 1: Write down everything you eat for at least a week. You don't need to necessarily do this for the rest of the year, or for your life, but you do need to know where you're starting from. Make sure that for that one week you eat as you normally would. Write down every chicken wing, potato chip and brownie you eat. You need to know what you're eating to start with.

    Step 2: Change everything you do. Nah, just kidding. Make it easy again. Look at what you ate in your normal week. Are there any things that stand out? Do you for example eat 1500 calories at breakfast? (Not kidding, some people do, without knowing it) then change that. It might also be that you always snack at night. Either stop that snacking (or if that's too hard to start with, change it with a healthier snack, for example tomatoes). Now don't change everything at once. Pick one thing at a time. Then do this for a week or two before making another change.

    Step 3: Keep changing things slowly and you will see results.

    The good thing about this? You do not need a massive amount of willpower as you're not trying to do everything at once. As from your story this seems to be one of your downfalls (hence the standard diets not working).
  • markiend
    markiend Posts: 461 Member
    Well I am not the most successful ..but somebody explained to me the basics and they were more expert than me....

    Eat a healthy as you can , drink more water and do away with the sugary sodas

    get more exercise, even if it's just a walk every day or so

    never over estimate how active you truly are.. this is what surprised me... I wasn't active enough

    never under estimate how much food / calories you are consuming. Weigh and log everything as it often causes people to sit up and take notice when they are forced to realise how much it really all is

    don't expect miracles over night.... go easy on yourself and once you see small changes and clothing seems looser you will get a boost for your self esteem and it should spur you on as it did me
  • jmom376
    jmom376 Posts: 234 Member
    Welcome! Everyone has offered excellent food related advice, basically move more, eat less, and track everything (I also added lots of fruits, vegetables, and lean protein to my diet). The best advice that I can give you is to work on your self esteem along with everything else and realize you are worth all of the extra effort. I remember how it was when I lived at home as a teenager (I am 45 now). My step dad always told me I was fat, stupid, and ugly (I was 5'8", 130 lbs, pretty (based on the pictures from that time), and an honor student). Unfortunately, I let his perception of me jade my view of myself. I have struggled with self esteem issues since he came into my life and am only now realizing how wrong he was. Putting yourself first and proving to yourself you can make a difference goes a long way in building up your self esteem. Also, don't be afraid to tell your mom what you need to be successful. It is OK for you to speak up for yourself as long as you are respectful in the process. Good luck :)
  • kawookie
    kawookie Posts: 813 Member
    BGMoose - It sounds to me like your mother thought that she could make you lose weight. She tried to externally motivate you to eat right and exercise by using methods that work on her. Shaming and embarrassing a person always backfires because that has the opposite effect on the majority of us.

    Your weight is your issue alone and does not need your mom's involvement. Depending on your mom's personality taking ownership might be helpful or simply telling her "I would appreciate your support and you can support me by __________" and then letting her know that you do not want to compete with her nor do you want to hear anything but positive affirmation from her. Praise when you return from a workout is great. Asking you why you are not going to the gym is not welcomed.

    Since I got married a few years ago, I gradually put back on the weight I lost the first time I went on a weight loss journey. My husband said nothing to me about losing weight because he knew that when I figured it out that I would do something about it. When I realized the majority of my nice work clothes didn't fit (or looked horrible) I was horrified. So here I am, working on my eating and exercise so this doesn't keep happening to me.

    IMHO, the only way anyone loses weight is if they decide that they want to lose weight and they are motivated to do so. It is important to set small goals for yourself. For example, in the month of October I would like to lose 10 pounds by walking 2000 steps a day and eating within my calories and drinking my water. Being healthy is a lifestyle change so figuring out what you like to do (swimming, biking, hiking, rollerblading) that will keep you burning calories is key.

    Finally, there are a lot of great groups that you can join on here that do challenges to make getting healthy into something that is social and fun. I'm on a Wizard of Oz challenge right now that has encouraged me to stretch myself to getting back into working out more regularly.

    I wish you great success in learning what works for you.
  • MelissaPhippsFeagins
    MelissaPhippsFeagins Posts: 8,063 Member
    Log everything (yes, all of it, even that one fun size York peppermint patty a co-worker leaves on your desk because she knows you are having a bad day) for a week and try during that week to get in a 30 minute walk every day. I did that for a week before joining MFP and lost a pound before I logged in here, just from the walking and drinking more water. (It took two days to realize I was not giving my body enough water so I fixed that right away.)

    Week two, let MFP set your goals and log it all again. You will be surprised at how much you are allowed to eat at your weight. My punk kid sister eats more than my Total Daily Energy Expenditure and is losing a pound/wk on average. She started at 325 and weighs 275 now. (She started a year ago and had a stop for a cancer scare along the way. It's hard to watch what you are eating and do your exercise when you are scared you are dying. Not cancer, minor surgery to remove benign tumor and she' s back on track.) I don't weigh my food on a scale, that's too much for me. I do often measure it with my kitchen measuring cups, but I've worked in food service in the past and I cook a lot at home, so I'm good with eyeballing portions. Most people aren't. Measure it with measuring cups to keep yourself on track. This week keep up the walking.

    Week three, repeat and maybe add a different exercise if you hate the walking. Walking has the advantage of being free and keeping my dog happy. My sis does a water aerobics class. My daughter runs. Once you find the exercise you like, it gets easier. Just keep repeating and adjust your calories down when you hit a plateau.

    I am not done, but I am halfway and I have watched the punk kid sister do this for a year. It works. It's not a competition (we have that mom too - she's all about South Beach right now.) and you will feel the benefits even with just 5 pounds lost. (That will be 20 pounds of pressure off your knees with every step you take. You will feel the difference.)

    Hang in there and congratulations for starting young and the right way.
  • sarah456s
    sarah456s Posts: 98 Member
    Everyone has already given you great advice on the weight loss part. Start small by tracking, and then work on quantity, then add exercise, and gradually learn what is healthy.

    I just wanted to say that sometimes parents are wrong. They may have started off trying to help you out, but they can get stuck in behavioral ruts - kind of like saying certain things certain ways every single time just because that's what they're used to saying/doing. We all are just human, and mess things up at least some of the time. Find some way of tuning your mother out, or telling her that you need her to say things differently. She may not be able to change - one of the hard things in life can be accepting that your parents kind of suck, and dealing with it. But don't buy in to her negativity - you are doing something great and positive for yourself by coming on here and learning how to lose the weight. You can do it!
  • themotherboard
    themotherboard Posts: 12 Member
    Good for you. It sounds like you have figured out so many things already that many people your age have no clue about. My daughter is exactly your age. I admire you for what you want to do with your life.

    I believe you will succeed!

    What is working for me is recording everything I eat. I resisted this method my entire life. But it works for me. I also record things BEFORE I eat it, so I can change my food intake/plans if needed. I had no clue how many calories were in some of the foods I was eating.

    Many years ago a trainer taught me the importance of HABIT. When I remember his advice, I do much better. We'll never be perfect, we'll never feel great 100 percent of the time. But SHOW UP in whatever you want to do. At least make an effort, continually and consistently, no matter how small you feel that effort may be. It forms good habits.

    Please keep posting. I look forward to seeing your great progress.
  • Hello,
    I know how you feel. I'm 40 years old and when I was in High School I went through the same issues as you. I have always been big and just thought that is they way it was. Kids made fun of me picking on me and had no self esteem. Even at age 40 I still get picked on, called big one and fat boy. It hurts. And I was always sick, and hurting in my feet, back, knees. Doctors kept saying it was my weight and I was in denial. But its not easy, I thought I was not eating much, and I was not eating much, it was what I was eating. Once I started with this app, it hit me how bad i was eating. Look at the foods you pick and count every single calorie. It takes will power but if you do it works. I'm living proof I was at 440lbs as of March this year and I'm down as of today to 323lbs. I have lost 116lbs and counting. The first few months are hardest if you make it past that it gets easier. I wish you luck and you can do it. If I can do it anyone can.
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