40 years old + 32 weeks = 50 pounds lost (with photos & tricks/tips)

alisampm Posts: 182 Member
Hello all, my name is Alisa and I am excited to finally be back on the journey to health. Nice to meet you all. I love having friends on MFP - so please add me if you are either on a similar journey or just want to be friends. :)

I have been overweight for as long as I can remember, always the heaviest of friend group and siblings. I would eat when I was bored and definitely when I was under stress. I remember sneaking food as a young child and eating an extra meal every night for my evening snack in my adult life. I gained weight with every kid, even though they came to me through adoption/foster care. I gained when I lost my niece to cancer.

I have lost and regained 20 lbs a few times, first when I went on an international trip for 6 months (no access to my own groceries/snacks) and then when I was training for a half marathon (MFP and TONS of exercise). And now I am still losing, more than I have ever lost (MFP and minimal exercise).

I have two goal weights, the first being the weight I was at when I ran a half marathon for charity (212 lbs) and the second being the healthiest adult weight I can remember for myself, after months of international travel (172 lbs). If I were to reach both of those goals it would mean the world to me (but my dream, dream weight is 136 - which would mean I lost half my body weight - and would be firmly in the healthy BMI range).

But, for the first time, I don't see a "finish line". This is just life. This is just what eating looks like for me, a historically terrible estimator of how many calories are in things - who can get off track without and external touchpoint like a calorie counter.

Some of my inspirations for starting this journey are now realities, and some are not. I want to keep going until they are all realities.


What I've learned:
I have learned to separate the fat loss from strength, which allows me to focus on the right things and prevent some potential roadblocks. Our body fat composition is almost 100% what we eat. My #1 goal has been to track my calories accurately every day and stay close to my calorie "goal" for the day. My calories have not always been 100% on track, but I have been pretty close.

I've learned that I have to prioritize my goals, if I have too many, like fewer carbs, more protein, more veggies, less fried food, its easy to "mess up", and then quit. If my MAIN goal is calories, I have the flexibility to learn to make better nutrition choices WHILE I am losing fat (by limiting my overall calories). I have a long way to go to my goal, but it feels doable now that I understand the science of it.

Our strength and endurance are how much we move our bodies. I want to work out to get strong and build up my endurance. I have recently added in some weight training and have always enjoyed walking, so returned to that after a short stint at running, but didn't FAIL, because I am still building my strength and endurance. Some of my inspirations for starting this journey are now realities, and some are not. I want to keep going until they are all realities. Since one of them is live until 80, and I am 40, I will let you know when I get there. 🙂

When I am asked for tips on weight loss, this is my response: You need to consistently be in a calorie deficit through diet. Not sexy, but effective. It helps me to take the emotion out of it - no good food. No bad food. Just calories.

Find a calorie tracker that YOU like (I love My Fitness Pal) and be ruthlessly honest with it and yourself, on everything coming into your body. I aimed to lose 1.5lb a week, which was a doable amount. I did go "up" to a .5lb a week goal for a week and the extra calories were great, but I was ready to hit it harder again.

A big piece of success for me is learning that I cannot do shakes, tiny portions, fasts, etc. I just love to eat and being full too much (and that is NOT a bad thing). So I learned how to make low calorie but very filling foods. Its officially called volume eating and has made STAYING in a calorie deficit easier, but I still track every calorie. Basically focusing on high nutrition, high volume, non-meat foods most of the time so that I can feel full AND stay under my calorie limit. Its changed my relationship to food and I hope to never go back to mindlessly eating, but making mindful choices and listening to my potato and veggie-loving body. I grew up choosing mash potatoes over ice cream on a regular basis, but now I am able to do it healthily, by skipping the butter, cheese, etc, and still feeling full.

Syatt Fitness and The Fitness Chef have also been really helpful for me to be patient and to just keep going, even when it feels hard or that its taking too long, or the scale is jumping around. They both have helped me understand weight gain and loss and to avoid the diet crazes that don't work long term.

Why I want to get in shape
I am 40 years old and have been taking a long look at my life. I have realized that I felt tired and was being limited in activities I could do because of my weight. I LOVE traveling with my kiddo and those seats were feeling pretty squishy. And I really enjoy going to the amusement park and had to start checking to make sure it could handle my weight.

Starting weight (Feb 2020) 272 lbs
Current weight 220.2 as of 10/11/2020
First Goal Weight 212 lbs
Final Goal Weight 172 lbs
Dream Goal Weight 136 lbs

Live to be 80 years old in a healthy body.
Give my daughter an example of healthy living.
Going on any ride I want to at the amusement park.
Enjoy getting my photo taken by other people again.

Volume Eating
The Fitness Chef
Syatt Fitness


  • Stellastar1130
    Stellastar1130 Posts: 1 Member
    Thanks for the inspiration today. Struggling with getting going....
  • Latrellis
    Latrellis Posts: 75 Member
    How many calories a day do you average?
  • kermitch
    kermitch Posts: 53 Member
    Good stuff, you are doing so well :smiley:
  • Bluetail6
    Bluetail6 Posts: 2,874 Member
    Really useful information. Good for you on your transformation. I do enjoy Syatt.
  • FutureFit2020
    FutureFit2020 Posts: 128 Member
    You've done really well. One of my personal low points was having to get out of the bumper car ride with my kids because I couldn't fit the seat belt. So I completely identify with this
    Going on any ride I want to at the amusement park.

    I was mortified and I always hold my breath and cross my fingers when buckling a seat belt on the plane.
  • ggeise14
    ggeise14 Posts: 386 Member
    Way to go! So glad you've found something that is sustainable and works for you!
  • ibrake4bunnies
    ibrake4bunnies Posts: 63 Member
    Woot woot! You look awesome!!! Great progress.
  • JudyC2021
    JudyC2021 Posts: 2 Member
  • caseydimples
    caseydimples Posts: 173 Member
    Thanks for sharing this. I love reading a good success story, especially one that resonates w/ me. Congrats on your hard work and success!
  • wizzybeth
    wizzybeth Posts: 3,573 Member
    Wonderful success story. Dedication and hard work pays off!
  • Mandy002171
    Mandy002171 Posts: 1 Member
    Way to go, so inspiring. :)
  • alisampm
    alisampm Posts: 182 Member
  • alisampm
    alisampm Posts: 182 Member
    Ha 😂 Thanks!
  • LVP2014
    LVP2014 Posts: 39 Member
    Normally I skip the long posts, but this was both well written and inspiring. I love your "inspirations", you sound like a fun and smart mom and I am looking forward to follow your journey!
  • badgermom1972
    badgermom1972 Posts: 1 Member
    Look at what an amazing example you are setting for you family!!!! AWESOME!!!
  • Archon2
    Archon2 Posts: 462 Member
    Way to go! Great tips to follow in your post.
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