Focusing on Behaviour, Not Weight - Year 1 Report

skinnyD2308
skinnyD2308 Posts: 92 Member
At 17, I went to my first Weight Watchers meeting to lose weight for my high school graduation. I was fairly successful and felt absolutely beautiful the year I turned 18. Until my mom suggested joining Weight Watchers, I had never really connected how my body looked to the way I ate. Unfortunately, I gained the weight back and more by the time I was 22. I joined Weight Watchers again and lost some weight which I again regained. Between the time I was 18 and now, I have lost and gained weight with similar results 3-4 times.

When I returned to work in 2011 after having my daughter, I was really struggling with being heavier than I had ever been, along with a short bout of depression, work/family stress, emotional eating and binging. My heaviest was 211. I had rejoined Weight Watchers that spring, but just found the whole experience frustrating. The idea that it was crazy to do the same time over and over again and expect a different resulted in a very defeatist attitude and I quit Weight Watchers, knowing my head was not where it needed to be to be successful. I struggled a couple of years more waffling between wanting to lose weight and trying to just accept myself as I was – but most of all – if I was going to lose weight again, I wanted to keep it off.

1fc9aqcv2oep.jpg

Between 2011 and 2014, I had been doing some reading on blogs like Can You Stay for Dinner (her weight loss struggle and new attitude towards food and eating is really inspiring) and Drop It and Eat: Drop the Diet and Manage Your Weight (a blog by a dietician who works with folks who suffer from eating disorders). These blogs had convinced me that whatever I did about my weight, I need to approach it in a way that was sustainable and healthy and that was non-punishing. I just wasn’t quite sure where to start or how to go about it.

Then one day last spring, after being a little shell shocked by some pictures taken during a vacation with my family: I was listening to the radio and heard an interview with Dr. Yoni Freedhoff who was promoting his book The Diet Fix: Why Diets Fail and How to Make Yours Work.

cmjjf9n753n7.jpg

The corny title of the book not-withstanding, his interview focused on how 90% of diets end in failure and for chronic dieters, this can mean years of compounded frustration, disappointment and shame--baggage that won't make weight loss any easier the next time. He spoke of “traumatic” dieting and the toll it takes. Then he also spoke of what research has taught him about folks who successfully keep their weight off – whatever you do – aim for the healthiest lifestyle that you can truly enjoy and your healthy habits will stick – don’t just do what you can tolerate, or the weight will creep back. His credentials and history or working with obese patients convinced me to at least read his book, and well, it gave me a good starting place.

After reading the book, I committed to the following:
  • Track my food intake for 1 full year using myfitnesspal, as accurately as possible, using a food scale and nutrition information whenever makes sense, and track to best of my ability whenever I eat out or do not have access to my scale.
  • Don’t be ruled by the scale, but weigh in 1-2 times a month to monitor progress
  • Try to eat under my maintenance calories more than I eat over them
  • Review my progress monthly in terms of # of days eating under maintenance vs. over; average of daily calorie intake for the month, and pounds lost/gained.
  • Be kind to myself – this exercise was about forming a habit and keeping information to help me find my own way to healthier living in a way that I enjoyed.

When I started this journey, I wasn't even sure what the results would be, but I figured at least I wouldn't gain anymore weight. I hoped I would lose weight, but ultimately I wanted to change the behaviours that got me to 211 pounds and adopt ones that would stop the lose/gain cycle I've been fighting all of my adult life. The result is that I am the same weight now as I was when I got pregnant, and I'm feeling pretty darned good about myself.

Here are the results!

Starting weight on June 1, 2014: 211 pounds
Weight on June 1, 2015: 175 pounds
Total Weight lost: 36 pounds
Height is 5’4” and age is 38.

Some after pics...

qwn0yz7dohio.jpg These are shorts I wore last year - much too big now!

9up3larq9fof.jpg


So what did I learn…
  • Consistency is more important than perfection
  • Perfection is certainly not necessary
  • Being hungry is not necessary – in fact it is an enemy to my weight loss. Too much calorie restriction leads to binging (for me, at least)
  • Knowledge is power – track the binges – sometimes they are not as bad as your destructive inner voice would like you to believe. The ability to put a 3700 calorie day in perspective of a whole month is a powerful lesson.
  • 1 year can bring you a long way, but I still have a ways to go to creating the lifestyle I truly want
  • Emotional eating is still something I need to work on (May was my worst month so far – to be fair my Dad was in the hospital)

Goals for the next 365 days:
  • Continue to journal food on MFP everyday
  • Participate in at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day for 365 days
  • Bring my net daily calorie intake average closer to 1800 calories
  • Explore new, enjoyable ways to increase my fitness
  • Improve consistency around meal planning during the week and packing lunches the night before.
  • Include more vegetables at lunch and dinner

«1

Replies

  • eileen7316
    eileen7316 Posts: 72 Member
    Congratulations! I'm thinking about reading that book, as I've heard a lot of people speak highly of it and I think it may do me some good. You look fabulous and should be so proud!
  • Datarn
    Datarn Posts: 79 Member
    You are an inspiration!! Congratulations on your success!! You look marvelous!!
  • debneeds2beskinny
    debneeds2beskinny Posts: 228 Member
    you look great - I think I will get that book! congratulations
  • Hotshoe1200
    Hotshoe1200 Posts: 46 Member
    Great job! For myself, I would add bored eating.
  • Teenie0916
    Teenie0916 Posts: 22 Member
    Wow you look great! Thank you for sharing your story, you're an inspiration!
  • coueswhitetail
    coueswhitetail Posts: 323 Member
    Outstanding and thanks for sharing your journey and secrets to your success.....I think the idea of having goals that are manageable (ie, eat under my maintenance more days than not) are very good. Congratulations and keep it up! Your daughter is worth it! :)
  • jaga13
    jaga13 Posts: 1,149 Member
    Congratulations and thank you for sharing!
  • sarahharas5
    sarahharas5 Posts: 256 Member
    You are truly an inspiration! So glad to have found you. I know you will continue to reach the goals you set for yourself!!
  • mamma_adventure
    mamma_adventure Posts: 235 Member
    <3 this...here's to year 2 :)
  • skinnyD2308
    skinnyD2308 Posts: 92 Member
    eileen7316 wrote: »
    Congratulations! I'm thinking about reading that book, as I've heard a lot of people speak highly of it and I think it may do me some good. You look fabulous and should be so proud!

    I highly recommend it. I didn't adopt all his strategies, but committed to a few. I am planning on re-reading the book and doing his "10-day reset" to get my second year of this off on the right foot. His suggestions around calorie/protein minimums and eating on a schedule have also been pretty instrumental to my progress - and it does help me with binge eating when I am following that advice. My goal this year is to be more consistent with it, which is why I am working on improving my meal planning, and prepping a day in advance this year. I've mastered tracking, now I need to master planning and incorporating exercise more consistently!
  • skinnyD2308
    skinnyD2308 Posts: 92 Member
    You are truly an inspiration! So glad to have found you. I know you will continue to reach the goals you set for yourself!!

    Thanks Sarah! I really appreciate the online support and cheerleading you've provided. I'm glad you "found" me too :blush:
  • tasmin21
    tasmin21 Posts: 42 Member
    Well done, and keep going! You can do it! (and think what a great example you're being for your little one!)
  • mistikal13
    mistikal13 Posts: 1,457 Member
    Nice work, keep at it!
  • jacque930
    jacque930 Posts: 122 Member
    Thank you for sharing! You can do this! I lost weight for my wedding in 2012 and then let things slide and put on most of the weight back. Being short, I am 5'1, extra weight stacks up!
    I like your thoughts on giving on up on Weight Watchers and just making it part of your lifestyle. Setting small goals as well is a great idea. It is all about making it a part of your lifestyle.

    I believe I should set a few of the same goals that you have written down to focus on. One day at a time for all of us!
  • skinnyD2308
    skinnyD2308 Posts: 92 Member
    jacque930 wrote: »
    Thank you for sharing! You can do this! I lost weight for my wedding in 2012 and then let things slide and put on most of the weight back. Being short, I am 5'1, extra weight stacks up!
    I like your thoughts on giving on up on Weight Watchers and just making it part of your lifestyle. Setting small goals as well is a great idea. It is all about making it a part of your lifestyle.

    I believe I should set a few of the same goals that you have written down to focus on. One day at a time for all of us!

    Thanks - I'm 5'4" - so I get the short thing too. I used to say, it's not my weight that's the problem, it's my height! LOL!

    About the Weight Watchers - it's not even that it's a bad program. I usually was quite good at losing on their programs (until I wasn't), but it's just so expensive, the calories are "hidden" in the points, etc. Plus, after a while all the meetings just seem to sound the same. And at the end of the day, I didn't want to attend WW for life. Nor did I feel that I needed to fit their version of "success". So I needed to find something that I could be doing long term. Hopefully another year will help me really cement things. My pattern seems to be lose weight until I "feel good" again, get lazy and less mindful, major life event hits, regain all the weight (and sometimes more).

    My dad has been in the hospital two times this year - both those months have been my "worst" eating months (they also co-occurred with Christmas and my birthday), but I think the habit of tracking no matter what is what keeps pulling me back on track again.
  • aliciasilfies
    aliciasilfies Posts: 179 Member
    Great job! I'm definitely going to look into that book. Keep up the great work!
  • karensuegill
    karensuegill Posts: 73 Member
    I too joined Weight Watchers several times and I was successful at losing, but then gained it all back plus more each time. Finally I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and that was a big wake up call. If I didn't get the weight off, I was headed for a worsening of my health. I have lost 54 pounds over the last 18 months. I am now not on any meds and my blood glucose and A1C are in the normal range. I read the book Never Say Diet by Chantel Hobbs and used MFP to track my food and calories. The reason so many diets fail to help people keep the weight off for good is they only teach you how to take it off, they don't teach you how to keep it off. If you think about it, they don't want you to keep it off because then you wouldn't need them anymore and they wouldn't make money anymore. Congrats on your accomplishment! What you did makes a lot of sense. Nothing drastic, but slow sensible weight loss that's sustainable for the rest of your life. I may have to check out the book you mentioned. It sounds very helpful. I am so happy for you! You have found a new life and it's a healthy one. Keep going!
  • GWehsling
    GWehsling Posts: 120 Member
    Great read and inspiration. Your insights into your own eating and behaviour will be your light on the path to success. Good luck and well done. Also, thank you very much for being open, honest and sharing.
  • inittothinit42
    inittothinit42 Posts: 64 Member
    Great job!
  • rosehips60
    rosehips60 Posts: 1,030 Member
    Thank you for your post, it was beautifully presented. Much of it resonated with me and while I haven't read that book I have adopted some of those strategies by trial and error. Congrats on coming to this realization at a much younger age than I did!