Three Years (1099 DAYS) & Counting!

herrshiro Posts: 17 Member
I'll start with a summary and if anyone would like to read the longer version, it continues below. I started using MFP on March 1st, 2011. I have logged in every day since then, even during the two months I traveled in Asia. I've found maintaining weight to be more difficult than losing weight, but overall have done well and the last three years have been fantastic. On 03/01/11 I was 6'7" and 277lbs. On 03/01/14 I'm still 6'7", but I weigh 210lbs.

What a difference one year can make!

I wrote a detailed post after my first year on MFP. For those of you in your first year, you may find it interesting:

My post today will focus on what it's been like more or less trying to maintain weight for the last two years as opposed to focusing on a calorie deficit. I'm still figuring out what works best for me, but I've eaten to maintain, to gain, and to lose over the last two years.

I'm sure this is no great breakthrough, but eating to maintain just isn't as galvanizing as having a weightless goal. It's hard to get excited about it and therefore hard to stick to it. When you log out of MFP at night and it says "In five weeks you'll weigh the same" there's no boost. And weekly weigh-ins are no longer anything to look forward to. And, yet, eating at a deficit forever isn't tenable.

As I said earlier, I weighed 277 when I started MFP. At one point, shortly after the one year mark, I'd lost 84 pounds to weigh 192. I was starting to get comments about looking gaunt and I did agree I was getting a bit boney, so I decided to put some weight back on. Most of the weight I lost was eating 2000 calories or less a day, plus some working out early on. When I started eating to gain, I found the increased calorie goal difficult to hit. I kept going over! Maybe it was a mental thing, knowing that I was trying to gain weight made me take that number goal less seriously.

But I didn't go crazy, eating everything and anything the way I'd done before MFP. If I was going over my amount, it was still on average way less than I'd done when I hadn't been tracking calories. I set a target for somewhere around 205lbs. What I really wanted (and still want) is to put on muscle and get in proper shape. I just have not managed to get into weight training. Still, I'll take lanky over fat any day.

About 205lbs here

Anyway, after a year of maintenance and eating-to-gain, I weighed about 205lbs. A 13lb increase over one year, but still 72lbs less than where I'd started. All of my clothes still fit, I wasn't getting the "gaunt" comment anymore, so I figured this was a good place to settle. During that year I'd also eaten at a deficit for a month or couple weeks here and there, just to get myself invested again. So I landed at 205 but there were a number of tiny ups and downs during my second MFP year.

I started my 3rd year (March, 2013) on MFP by focusing on maintaining my weight and had success for about five months (some days going over, some under…overall averaging out). Come last summer, a pound or two crept up, then another, and by Autumn I was at 210lbs. Clothes still fit, but were starting to get a little tight (pants especially). I returned to a deficit diet and lost a pound, then went on a 2+ month trip to China, Taiwan, and Japan.

What a difference, uh, seven years makes!

This trip was a reward to myself for finishing grad school. I walked a ton and thought that would balance out all the food I was eating. I logged into MFP every day (not an easy feat with limited internet access and no working cell phone), but I wasn't logging my specific meals. I could've guessed, but there were plenty of things I ate that I couldn't properly identify (which may be for the best). I also ate plenty of identifiable stuff, too much McDonald's breakfast and chips. But, still, I didn't log my calories, just logged in to keep my streak alive.

I ate a lot of awesome food…

And saw a lot of great places (at the Great Wall here)

When I returned to the US in early December, 2013, I knew I'd gained weight on that trip. I clocked in at just under 220. I wasn't worried that this would be the great slide to my doom and I'd be back at 277, but It was still tough to see that number. 57lbs down from my original weight, but 28 pounds above my lowest weight. I'd gained enough that it was time to get back into true deficit mode, back to the way I'd found so much success in that first year. 2000 calories or less, per day.

And that's what I've been doing since January, 2014. I currently weigh 210, so I've shed the "China weight," 9 pounds in two months. I'd like to get back to 190-something, just as a personal challenge. And of course I still want to get more exercise in my life, but that's like a totally different issue.

Overall, in two years of mostly maintaining I've been fairly successful. I did put on more weight than I'd like, but have already shed most of that. If I had to guess what my future looks like, I'd guess it wouldn't be too much different. Maintain weight, gain a bit, lose it again, maintain some more, etc. And I'm OK with that. I don't ever want to yo-yo so much that I have to buy a bigger (or smaller) size of pants, so regardless of the mode I'll be in, there's a element of constant vigilance—and I'm cool with that.

Bit of a long post, so if you've read this far congratulations and thanks! Just one more thing—a bit of a shameless plug while I'm here. When I lost the bulk of my weight, a lot of opportunities started coming my way. I know losing weight improved my attitude as well as health and that affects how people interact with you. In the summer of 2011, I started work on a documentary passion project and have been on it ever since. The film is about the eccentric creators of a mid-90s cult Public Access TV show who reunite after 20 years to make a new episode of their show in an effort to reconcile their teenage dreams with the reality of adulthood. We released a trailer for the film last month which is on our website: Check it out if you've found this post interesting or helpful at all!

Thanks again for reading and I'm looking forward to any questions or comments!



  • craignev
    craignev Posts: 1,247 Member
    Wow!!!.....amazing journey. Well done!
  • albionjen
    albionjen Posts: 86 Member
    Thanks so much for the post. It's really helpful to hear how maintaining your weight worked for you. I'm going to be starting that soon, as I only want to lose another 2-3kg and already passed my original "goal weight". I've been setting fitness goals to have something to work towards in the hope that will keep me on track. E.g. To be able to run 5k in under 25mins, do at least one pull up and chin up. Love your photos of the Asia trip, such a great idea for a reward, might have to steal it for myself :smile:
  • kimad
    kimad Posts: 3,011 Member
    Awesome job! maintaining can be struggle, I've been in your shoes more than once!
    Hope you enjoyed your trip and you are a hottie! just saying!

    good job!
  • dianeb613
    dianeb613 Posts: 121 Member
    Thanks for sharing!! I find maintaining a challenge even though I really didn't lose that much. I've been maintaining for about 4 years but I wanted to lose another 10 lbs but I just can't get there. However, I am happy though that I never gained back the weight I lost and to me that is rewarding. I do go up a lb and then back down. right now I am 1 lb. above but hopefully I'll lose by next week or the week after....LOL

    You look awesome!!
  • mishka45
    mishka45 Posts: 26 Member
    You look great, thank you for sharing!!! :smile:
  • aradha71
    aradha71 Posts: 5 Member
    great job!
  • bunkahes
    bunkahes Posts: 216 Member
    thank you for the insight. i dont read blogs but yours was interesting.
  • xPeacefulx
    xPeacefulx Posts: 59 Member
    amazing you look great!! Thank you for sharing :)
  • spirit095
    spirit095 Posts: 1,017 Member
    That's awesome! I'm jealous of your travels. One day I'll make it to that side of the world. And wow, you're nearly 2 feet taller than me :laugh:
  • herrshiro
    herrshiro Posts: 17 Member
    Thank you!!
  • Momto4minions
    Momto4minions Posts: 230 Member
    Wonderful post! Great job keeping yourself accountable. I totally understand not knowing what you may be eating in foreign countries. I lived in Japan for three years. At times, I just thought :"this is food" and went with it! Lol

    Your 20yearsofmadness looks interesting too.
  • johnfnord
    johnfnord Posts: 22 Member
    Great post Jerry. You inspire me !
  • Booksandbeaches
    Booksandbeaches Posts: 1,791 Member
    First're so tall! Damn, that's really tall. :laugh:
    You look wonderful!
    What an amazing post. Thanks for sharing your story. I found it insightful and the photos are a nice addition.
    I've lived and traveled abroad, so I could relate to a lot of what you said.
  • KristinaB83
    KristinaB83 Posts: 440 Member
    What a great post. Congratulations on all your success and finishing grad school! High five! You look wonderful, and the trip pictures are fantastic!
  • dunnodunno
    dunnodunno Posts: 2,305 Member
    Congrats on the longevity of logging and sticking with a healthy lifestyle.
  • You look amazing. Keep up the good work!
  • grandmothercharlie
    grandmothercharlie Posts: 1,420 Member
    You are successful because you are honest with yourself. A lot of people would have looked at those 10 pounds and said, "Heck, it is only 10 pounds. I'll worry about it at 15." People have a habit of sliding things always just a little further out! Great job!
  • aliciadub
    aliciadub Posts: 73 Member
    Thanks for sharing your journey. Very interesting and very inspiring. And congrats on finishing grad school!
  • nathalier71
    nathalier71 Posts: 570 Member
    I enjoyed reading your journey! Awesome job! I agree - maintaining is not easy!
  • Inspiring for tge rest of us