Finally hit rock bottom with my weight so here I am

My name is Cindy and I am 55 years old and weigh 273 lbs. I have degenerative disk disease in my lower back and chronic plantar fasciitis in my right foot along with bone spurs in that same foot. I am blessed to not have any major medical issues. I have been overweight off an on for the past 35 years. I have tried almost every diet there is......Weight Watchers, Nutri-system, Jenny Craig, South Beach, etc. Phen-fen was great...until it quit working. I even had gastric lap band surgery 10 years ago. After the failure of the lap band I just said, "forget it", I'm not doing it any more. I truly thought I was finished "dieting". Slowly I became more and more miserable. It became hard to tie my shoes, it became hard to walk up steps, it became hard to walk at all. I had to take a business trip early this month (my first plane flight since I was a child) and I had a very rude awakening. I barely fit in the seat and needed a seat belt extender. The conference I attended was in a coastal town where everyone walked everywhere. I was absolutely MISERABLE in this beautiful city (Portsmouth, NH) because I huffed and puffed trying to walk a half mile to the restaurant with my friends. Charlotte Douglas airport is massive and I could barely walk from one end to the other....and I certainly couldn't keep up with my friends strolling up the concourse. That was it. I hit rock bottom. In the past I could run marathons, I took martial arts lessons, I was a weight this???

Soooo I went back to my old weight loss clinic, the one where they did the lap band surgery. But I don't want any surgery. I will be seeing a regular physician that specializes in weight loss. I will also be seeing a dietitian and an exercise person. My first appt. with the doctor was last week but I don't see the dietitian until December. She prescribed Qsymia for me but it is really expensive and my insurance doesn't cover it. I see her again on the 8th next month so I may talk to her about discontinuing this medication....or at least just switching to Topamax only. I think it was good to have something to give me a boost to get me started...but I don't want to be dependent on this stuff. I know how that goes. Plus, there is a reason my insurance company won't pay for any medication with Phentermine in it. I really do like this doctor. She was easy to talk to and listened to what I was saying.

This is going to be a very long marathon for me and I will need to implement small changes bit by bit. My diet has been horrendous and I have not been exercising at all. Since I saw the doctor last week I have been walking up and down my hall at work several times a day. I used to eat buttered popcorn every night while watching tv....I haven't had any in a week. I used to drink 3 - 4 Dr. Peppers a day. I am down to 1 - 2 small bottles at breakfast and one at dinner. I plan to be off of them altogether by the end of next week....maybe sooner. I have re-introduced vegetables to my diet. Fruits confuse me....I'm not sure if I am supposed to eat them or not because of the sugar. I guess I will learn more when I see the dietitian. I have lost 6 lbs already just making these very small changes.

Sorry for the book, but this is my story.


  • bobsburgersfan
    bobsburgersfan Posts: 6,354 Member
    edited October 2018
    Welcome to MFP! Ultimately, no matter what diet you use, if it works it's because you're burning more calories than you consume. You can eat however you like, as long as it's at a deficit. I highly recommend that you track your food faithfully and honestly. This is the only thing that has worked for me, ever.

    I also highly recommend that you check out the Success Stories message board. There are so many inspiring pictures and stories there!

    The most important thing is that you don't give up. As you said, you have a long marathon in front of you, and there are days you will feel like quitting, but just hang in there! (I actually still weigh more than you at your starting weight, so I'm right here running this marathon with you.)

    This is opinion, but don't let your dietitian tell you that you have to go keto, or cut out carbs, or follow any other drastic diet plan (unless it's necessary for other health reasons, like diabetes). I have made some improvements to my overall eating (more veggies, less sweets, etc), but NOTHING is entirely off limits. I still eat bread, and sugar, and fruit, and fried food, just less of them, and less often than I used to. I'm trying to make changes that are sustainable for the long term.
  • CindyJNC1963
    CindyJNC1963 Posts: 895 Member
    Thanks for the welcome!! I have been tracking my food here. Several times already I have thought about eating something and then thought better of it because I didn't want to have to write it down. There is no way I would go on that keto diet. I don't really believe in those fad type diets...the ones that are really extreme.

    I wasn't impressed with the last dietitian I saw 10 years ago. I went in there really proud of some positive changes I had made. She immediately shamed me for what I had NOT been doing rather than congratulating me on what I HAD been doing. I never went back to her again. I talked to others who had the same experience with her. Hopefully this one is a lot better....I'm willing to give her a shot.

    I'm feeling positive. I'm just ready to feel better again. I may not ever run another marathon...but if I can go for a hike I will be happy.
  • cmcollins001
    cmcollins001 Posts: 3,472 Member
    Regardless of what you do, food specific diets, exercise, intermittent fasting, lifting weights, running, walking...whatever it may be, the key is to do something different than what you've been doing. You are on the right path talking to professionals, but the key is going to be you living it every single day, so you have to find something that you can live with...Every. Single. Day.

    You can "cheat" from time to time, as long as it is the exception and not the rule. You can skip leg day...well, no you can't. Never skip leg day. B):D

    Just go for a walk. Try for that half mile again. Then do it again. Then next week or in two 3/4 of a mile. Start somewhere...anywhere...just start. Then work your way up.

    Get a fitness tracker if you are the type of person that says, "I did 10,000 steps last weekend, I'm going to do 12,000 this weekend"...because it can be just the motivation you need to challenge yourself.

    The most important thing I can ever tell anyone is to do something. Just do something. Find an exercise you like and do it. Find foods you like...and eat them. Log. Log. Weigh WITH A FOOD SCALE...and Log. Be realistic. If 1200 calories leaves you starving every single day...up it to 1300 and see if that helps. Remember starving isn't what you want, but being a little hungry at the end of the day isn't a bad thing. Do what you can do and not be miserable, because if you're miserable, you'll stop doing it. Find a happy medium between "I hate the elliptical" and "I have to lose this weight".
  • PigHerder
    PigHerder Posts: 89 Member
    Welcome Cindy! :smile: I'm really glad you're feeling positive. It sounds like you're in the right headspace. You're going to do great. Looking forward to following your progress!
  • bigbandjohn
    bigbandjohn Posts: 769 Member
    Yes... Log everything. Measure everything. If you can, plan your meals out in advance for the day. Leave yourself some room for snacks... at least until dinnertime.

    I will suggest something I did, but modified for your situation. See what they would recommend the lowest calorie intake would be safe for you for a given day (from nutritionist/doctor). Still eat healthy, but do this for at least a week. You will be miserable (I was miserable for 3 months). Then, go back to whatever level you are at (1-2 lbs/week loss I am assuming). You will find it a whole lot easier to handle.

    As for popcorn, I would suggest checking out one of the lowfat microwave popcorns if you aren't ready for air-popped. I have a silicone microwave popper. 1/4 cup of kernels gives me 140 calories of essentially air popped popcorn. But beware of the sprays. There are hidden calories in them, so do be careful if you go that route. 5 seconds can be as much as 20-50 calories additional. (Most say 1/5th of a second spray is 0 calories, but in reality that can be as much as 2 calories by law.)

    I am down well over 200 from 15 months ago, and nearly 300 from 2 years ago. It's a struggle every day, but I've decided I will never go back. I will never buy a larger size again. Never. That is the promise I made.

    By the way, Shiritake noodles are a good pasta substitute. Very filling, low calorie, and no bad health info (yet) that I have found. You may want to try them. Don't let the fishy smell of the wet noodles scare you. Rinse, cook, and sauce (I like tomato, garlic, and basil). I find it filling and very low calorie for a meal.

    Good Luck! Let me know if you want any other meal ideas.
  • adipace815
    adipace815 Posts: 112 Member
    Welcome Cindy! This is some really good advice from the responders. MyFitnessPal is a fantastic tool no matter what concept that you decide you want to use. The database for food logging is incredible. There isnt much that will be in your diet that you will not find nutritional data on. The key as everyone is saying is portion control. Get yourself a couple of sets of measuring cups, measured unit tupperware, measuring spoons and a food weight scale. The only way to loose weight is to have a calorie deficit and the only way to ensure you have a calorie deficit is to quantify your calorie intake as accurately as possible.

    This is why I'm never too harsh on the food plans like Nutrisystem, Southbeach, Jenny Craig, Medifast, etc. People who experience positive results on these plans are not getting results because of the food concepts, or breakdown of Carbs, Protein, Fat, etc. Some of that is helpful with sugar content, but by and large their success is because they are paying these companies to do all the weighing and measuring of the food they intake to ensure that they have a calorie deficit that will result in weight loss. You can accomplish the same thing by using measuring cups and a food scale.

    Good luck with your journey. I think you will find that most people on here really want to help. Don't pay any attention to the occaisional knucklehead. You can do this!