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s/o If you were once obese and now are not and have maintained that--could you share?


Laurie4b
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The Biggest Loser study only had 14 participants and it's headline news! So even though we will have a small sample size here, I am interested in hearing others' experiences. Maybe there are common threads that we could learn from or maybe each one of us is different. 

 

If you're willing , can you give you starting and current BMI? (I am not a huge BMI fan, but it just gives an idea). 

 

Had you tried and failed before, or was this a first time success? 

 

Was there a trigger that began your journey towards losing weight? 

 

What strategies enabled you to lose the weight? (Please include how you motivated yourself) 

 

What strategies enable you to maintain the loss?  (Again, please include how you keep yourself motivated to maintain)

 

How long have you maintained a loss? 

 

Are you healthier? Have there been changes in your bp, cholesterol, glucose, etc. 

 

 

 

Edited by Laurie4b
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The Biggest Loser study only had 14 participants and it's headline news! So even though we will have a small sample size here, I am interested in hearing others' experiences. Maybe there are common threads or maybe each one of us is different. 

 

If you're willing , can you give you starting and current BMI? (I am not a huge BMI fan, but it just gives an idea). I was about 32, now am 22.8)

 

Had you tried and failed before, or was this a first time success? Tried and failed. Frequently. I became overweight in my 30s. Became obese after I stopped nursing my last baby in my 40s.  I would exercise well for about 6 months or so, then fall off the wagon for a number of months, then back on, then off. With regard to eating, I experienced something like a "switch." When it was turned on, I could control my eating. Then boom. All I had to do was overeat a time or two an the thing shut down. I would struggle for months against it. When the switch turned back on, I could lose weight again. I have NO CLUE what the stimulus was for the switch. It was frustrating. 

 

Was there a trigger that began your journey towards losing weight? Breast cancer. Recurrence is reduced for people who exercise regularly. 

 

What strategies enabled you to lose the weight? (Please include how you motivated yourself) I had altered my food consumption over the years and am fortunate in that I enjoy healthy food. I was a victim however of the mantra that "It's fat that makes you fat; don't worry about the rest" so spent about a decade or so eating way too many carbs. 

 

What succeeded for me was what I thought of as my "adding" diet. I added in healthy food. Aimed for 9 servings of fruits and veges. That fills you up. I did find that as long as trigger food wasn't staring me in the face that with the nutrient dense diet that my cravings reduced significantly. I tried low carb and lasted exactly 2 days. I now eat moderate carbs and try to ease up on them in the evening. Eating pasta in the evening can trigger weight gain for me, so I only ever take a very small serving along with a lot of veges. 

 

Because of a family history of Alzheimer's, I observe intermittent fasting in the form of making sure there are 12 hours between last food of the day and first food of the next day. (See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25324467 )

 

I also found that I could typically only lose weight if I skipped dinner a time or two per week and ate normally the rest of the time. I can't stand counting calories, grams. etc. so never counted beyond number of servings of fruits and veges. 

 

Exercise is for me the key. I never thought of it as burning something I ate, but I just feel. so. good. when I do it. I do aerobic (hiking, Zumba, and interval training) and strength training. Most days per week. ( I aim for 6 days, usually get at least 5). I believe that for me, exercise triggers changes in hormone levels, etc. and puts my body chemistry in a good place. 

 

I had to weigh daily. I tended to gain weight in great leaps, so if I wasn't constantly monitoring, I could gain a lot in a very short time period. 

 

recorded food categories for a while (how many veges, etc.) but couldn't sustain that. It was important at first though. 

 

I also recorded exercise religiously. 

What strategies enable you to maintain the loss?  (Again, please include how you keep yourself motivated to maintain)

 

Same as during loss. One thing I need to do is to constantly read health-related articles. That helps keep me motivated. 

Having the prevention of cancer recurrence and delay of Alzheimer's onset of goals keeps me "on the wagon." I don't feel like I have the 'luxury"of falling off. 

I schedule my exercise at the beginning of the week, first checking the weather to see which days I want to be outside. I often (not always) schedule with a family member or friend. I am friends with my Zumba teacher so I know she notices when I'm not there. That motivates me to get there. 

I do activities I enjoy, for the most part, though I don't particularly love weight lifting. But I need to do it, so I do. I do enjoy getting better--setting goals and lifting more than I've done before. That part is fun for me. 

I keep an eye on the scale, but really only a couple times per week now. I have a number in my head that if I were to hit it again, I would start back to weight loss mode. Right now, I fluctuate within about 3 pounds just below that point. 

Up until recently, I've continued to record exercise because for me that is key and it is motivating for me to write it down. I have been able to skip recording as much and still maintain exercise in the past couple months. 

 

How long have you maintained a loss? 12% body weight loss for 4 years; I initially lost 20%, then gained back the 8%, then lost that back to the -20% mark a year ago and have maintained that while losing another 20%, so about 30% net total from my highest weight. 

 

Are you healthier? Have there been changes in your bp, cholesterol, glucose, etc. Yes. Got off bp meds, cholesterol profile is the best it's ever been, and I feel strong. I like that feeling heading into the final couple decades of life. 

.

Recently, I've experienced an ease with eating that I haven't had for a number of years. I can even overeat on a special occasion without the scale popping right up the next day and can get back to normal eating right away. I take zero credit for that. Something seems to have really shifted with regard to my body chemistry. 

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Probably not what you're looking for but I totally believe the Biggest Loser.  When I entered college, I had a BMI of 30, which I thought was enormous.  I then went on a very well respected university physician's weight loss program which was basically Medifast.  I dropped some weight, but it was only after that experience that I became morbidly obese.  I really think it was the VLCD that did it.  After that, stints at Pritikin, a low fat vegan health spa, various personal trainers, nutritionists, and two bariatric surgeries (Lap-Band right after FDA approval, and VSG eight years ago).  Even with 90% of my stomach gone, I never got below the BMI of 30.  Right now, I'm still can barely eat a piece of pizza or finish a small hamburger... and I'm about a BMI of 33.  My metabolism is definitely permanenly altered from all of the dieting.  I'd be happy to get back where I started LOL. 

 

I had done very low calorie diets when I was 12 or so.... remember doing weight watchers as a 10 year old.  I think this is one of the reasons why WW is no longer open to kids.  They themselves mentioned that the results (even with their relatively sane family-habit program) were not what they expected.

 

There's some interesting stuff regarding the gut microbiome too and how people actually absorb different nutrients (and calories) based on their gut's composition. 

 

Hindsight being 20/20, if I was just a BMI of 30 or 33, I'd cash pay for a sleeve gastrectomy.  Of course, it wasn't available back then.

 

If I had a BMI of 40+, I'd go for a duodenal switch or maybe the modified DS, known as a SADI.

 

I would never ever recommend any sort of drastic low calorie diet. 

 

It sucks.

 

This was a lifetime of being overweight, obese, and morbidly obese, though.  So, other people may have different results.  What do I do today?

 

I focus on things to make me healthy, not necessarily thin.  I walk between 10-12000 steps each and every day.  I try to get at least 30 grams of fiber in, preferably 35.  I eat a wide variety of foods.  I try to eat prebiotics and probiotic containing foods.  I workout with weights usually 3x/week and try to begin my day with a series of sun salutations. 

Edited by umsami
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Probably not what you're looking for but I totally believe the Biggest Loser.  When I entered college, I had a BMI of 30, which I thought was enormous.  I then went on a very well respected university physician's weight loss program which was basically Medifast.  I dropped some weight, but it was only after that experience that I became morbidly obese.  I really think it was the VLCD that did it.  After that, stints at Pritikin, a low fat vegan health spa, various personal trainers, nutritionists, and two bariatric surgeries (Lap-Band right after FDA approval, and VSG eight years ago).  Even with 90% of my stomach gone, I never got below the BMI of 30.  Right now, I'm still can barely eat a piece of pizza or finish a small hamburger... and I'm about a BMI of 33.  My metabolism is definitely permanenly altered from all of the dieting.  I'd be happy to get back where I started LOL. 

 

I had down very low calorie diets when I was 12 or so.... remember doing weight watchers as a 10 year old.  I think this is one of the reasons why WW is no longer open to kids.  They themselves mentioned that the results (even with their relatively sane family-habit program) were not what they expected.

 

There's some interesting stuff regarding the gut microbiome too and how people actually absorb different nutrients (and calories) based on their gut's composition. 

 

Hindsight being 20/20, if I was just a BMI of 30 or 33, I'd cash pay for a sleeve gastrectomy.  Of course, it wasn't available back then.

 

If I had a BMI of 40+, I'd go for a duodenal switch or maybe the modified DS, known as a SADI.

 

I would never ever recommend any sort of drastic low calorie diet. 

 

It sucks.

 

Oh wow. I am really sorry for your frustrating and harmful experiences! 

 

And I agree about the gut biome. I wonder if that is where the direction of treatment will go next. 

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Oh wow. I am really sorry for your frustrating and harmful experiences! 

 

And I agree about the gut biome. I wonder if that is where the direction of treatment will go next. 

 

There's a really good book out by a British genetics researcher called "The Diet Myth".  He also has a good lecture on YouTube. :)

 

 

 

 

As an aside, I did the American Gut project thing back when it first started and my gut microbiome was very atypical... or so they said.

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And I agree about the gut biome. I wonder if that is where the direction of treatment will go next.

A bit off topic but my dd had a fecal transplant in December. At that time we needed to find a donor who had a lower BMI as they said that if the donor had a higher BMI my dd would be more likely to gain weight.....so there is certainly something to this theory.

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BMI. No idea. I used to weigh well over 300 pounds and now I think I weigh less than 200, but I'm pregnant and not really keeping track.

 

I lost weight in my teens, but only like 20 pounds. I became obese after my marriage started.

 

My trigger was that I was a bad mom. I'm not saying that all fat mom's are bad moms, but I was. I started losing weight when my son was 3 months old. It's been 5 years. I probably have 2 more to go.

 

Strategies? Wow. Um... just keep going. The time will pass anyway so use it. I love extreme fitness and Whole 30 or Paleo eating. Eggs, meat, fruits and veggies, no manufacturered food. Drinking water and nothing else. Logging food. Not just calories but nutrition content and how it effected me. Going on a 3 mile hike every day makes fat just melt off. My husband has been supportive and kind the entire time. I couldn't have done it without him.

 

I was a healthy fat person. I'm very lucky to be so healthy and lose the weight young.

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You are probably familiar with it but I'll post it anyway, there is the National Weight Control Registry for people who have lost at least 30 lbs and kept it off for a year or more. 

 

Here are the basics of their findings (they have a list of studies on their page)

NWCR Facts

You may find it interesting to know about the people who have enrolled in the registry thus far.

 

  • 80% of persons in the registry are women and 20% are men.
  • The "average" woman is 45 years of age and currently weighs 145 lbs, while the "average" man is 49 years of age and currently weighs 190 lbs.
  • Registry members have lost an average of 66 lbs and kept it off for 5.5 years.
  • These averages, however, hide a lot of diversity:
    • Weight losses have ranged from 30 to 300 lbs.
    • Duration of successful weight loss has ranged from 1 year to 66 years!
    • Some have lost the weight rapidly, while others have lost weight very slowly--over as many as 14 years.
  • We have also started to learn about how the weight loss was accomplished: 45% of registry participants lost the weight on their own and the other 55% lost weight with the help of some type of program.
  • 98% of Registry participants report that they modified their food intake in some way to lose weight.
  • 94% increased their physical activity, with the most frequently reported form of activity being walking.
  • There is variety in how NWCR members keep the weight off. Most report continuing to maintain a low calorie, low fat diet and doing high levels of activity.

 
    • 78% eat breakfast every day.
    • 75% weigh themselves at least once a week.
    • 62% watch less than 10 hours of TV per week.
    • 90% exercise, on average, about 1 hour per day.

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Starting BMI: 33

Current BMI: 21.5

 

Most of the time I had never tried to lose weight, blaming it on genetics. I had lost a bit once and then gained it back right away.

 

I was triggered by a pretty ugly breakup of an engagement.

 

At first I just focused on counting calories. After that I started counting macros, then on nutrition. But the first 30 lbs were lost while eating less of a junk-food diet. The biggest thing that I needed to do was to eliminate the junk-food binging, so I started buying much smaller packages and banned a few specific ones from the house completely. Since then I've also greatly cut down on available prepared food, so that when a hard day comes I'm not faced with cooking a healthy dinner vs. opening a package of saltines, but rather cooking a healthy dinner vs. cooking an unhealthy dinner. One thing that helped, I think, is that I planned to hit a benchmark and then maintain, and I stayed there for a while before I started losing again.

 

The biggest thing that helps me stay motivated to maintain is health and not being in pain. I used to hurt my back a couple of times a year and be in horrible pain for a while, and since I dropped out of obese range it hasn't happened once. The biggest strategy I use is that I weigh daily. Sometimes I track calories and sometimes I don't. If I hit goal weight +5 I started tracking again. But when I'm getting close I consciously cut back just a little bit, so I don't have to track very often. If I hit goal weight -5 I also start tracking again.

 

I've been out of obese range for 4 years now though I've only been maintaining current BMI for less than a year. I dropped from obese to overweight, stayed there for 2 years, dropped from overweight to high normal, stayed there for 1.5 years, then dropped to the middle of normal.

 

My b/p has only dropped a little bit but I was highly active before my weight loss. I don't know about cholesterol because I never tested that, but it is fine now (171, hdl 66, iirc). I became active in my 20s and before that I know my glucose was badly controlled and my PCOS/IR were raging, but after I became physically active they went into remission even before I lost the weight (regular cycles, no dark skin, able to go periods of time without eating if necessary). I was not on any medication for those other than oral contraceptives. The biggest health improvement has been the reduction in joint and back pain.

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I've lost and gained weight many times in my life.  This time, I did not start out obese, but I have gone from obese to thin in the past. 


 


Starting BMI  - 27.7


Current BMI -  21.1


 


 


I have had three times in my life where I have lost a significant amount of weight.  The last time was 90 pounds quickly (anorexia) and I gained about half of that back and maintained that weight for over a decade.  This time I lost 40 pounds slowly and have kept it off for over a year.  


 


Trigger - I broke my foot in September 2013 and knew I'd have to adjust my eating so I wouldn't gain weight while being inactive (I'm a runner).  I cut back and ended up actually losing weight.  After my foot was healed, I had new habits and kept tweaking them so my calorie intake kept decreasing.  


 


Strategies to lose - Just kept focusing on my new habits and not falling back into old ones.  Lots of exercise.  


 


Strategies to maintain -  Ugh.  That's so tough.  I try to use willpower and think about how I don't want to grow out of my clothes or be embarrassed by gaining the weight back after so many people have commented on my weight loss (I don't like that kind of attention at all).  Lots of exercise and I started intermittent fasting.


 


I've maintained this loss for about 13 months now.  It's definitely a struggle.


 


I don't know if I'm healthier physically because I haven't been checked.  Mentally, it's tough.  I have a long history of eating disorders and now thinking about food/weight/exercise/body size takes up an enormous amount of time which I hate.  I prefer not to go out to enjoy a meal or a drink with my family because of the calories.  I don't know how to eat outside of my normal routine so if something comes up that I can't avoid, I stress about either staying on program as well as possible or just allowing myself a cheat day.  I tend to be very all or nothing, so I'm either on program or bingeing most of the time.   I struggle with bingeing and compulsive exercising.  My husband has suggested that I relax and gain 15-20 pounds back so that I don't have to struggle so much to maintain this lower weight and I could enjoy life more.  


 


Erica


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


Edited by ebh87
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I had done very low calorie diets when I was 12 or so.... remember doing weight watchers as a 10 year old.  I think this is one of the reasons why WW is no longer open to kids.  They themselves mentioned that the results (even with their relatively sane family-habit program) were not what they expected.

 

 

 

 

 

My mom took me to WW when I was 11.  We went on crazy crash diets together all the time - like eating only hard boiled eggs or only cottage cheese.  I can't remember a time in my life where I wasn't thinking about food and the size of my body.   

 

Erica

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If you're willing , can you give you starting and current BMI? (I am not a huge BMI fan, but it just gives an idea). 

 

BMI at age 25:  34.3

BMI at age 53:  22.9

 

 

 

 

Had you tried and failed before, or was this a first time success?

 

I had success the first time I tried dieting/exercising/changing my lifestyle.  My weight has fluctuated a bit over the years but in that time I've been through two pregnancies, several surgeries, menopause and a hypothyroid diagnosis.

 

 

 

Was there a trigger that began your journey towards losing weight?

 

I turned 25 and decided if I was ever going to know what it was like to be at least somewhat thin and fit I needed to do it then.  I'd been going from chubby to obese since puberty, so I didn't really know what it was like to be thin and fit.  Subconsciously I suppose I may have been thinking about it for awhile, but consciously -- I just woke up one morning a few days after my birthday and decided that was the day I was going to change my life.

 

 

 

What strategies enabled you to lose the weight? (Please include how you motivated yourself)

 

Calories in calories out.

 

Willpower and sheer stubbornness are what motivated.  And I hope no one takes that wrong.  I've always been hard headed when it comes to getting something that I really want.  And I really wanted to lose weight and get in shape, so I put my stubbornness to use for a good cause.  It was hard.  Very, very hard,  There were many nights I went to bed hungry and even more when I woke up in the wee hours of the morning so hungry I couldn't go back to sleep.

 

 

 

What strategies enable you to maintain the loss?  (Again, please include how you keep yourself motivated to maintain)

 

Ummm . . . .I really don't have to try very hard.  I dieted/exercised myself close to anorexia, and in the slow process of recovering from that I think I really did learn how to maintain.  Or maybe all those hormones that regulate hunger had time to adjust themselves.  Who knows?  But other than a year or two before my hypothyroid diagnosis it really hasn't been that hard.  I don't have any sweet tooth at all, so that helps.  Mainly I just try to pay attention to my body's hunger and satiety signals.

 

 

 

How long have you maintained a loss?

 

28 years, with some fluctuations.  I don't think I ever made it anywhere close to obese territory during those fluctuations, though.

 

 

 

Are you healthier? Have there been changes in your bp, cholesterol, glucose, etc.

 

No.  I was young when I first lost weight and as far as I know at that time I had no known health issues.  Other than hypothyroidism and MVP as far as I know I have no health issues right now.

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Starting BMI: 33

Current BMI: 21.5

 

Most of the time I had never tried to lose weight, blaming it on genetics. I had lost a bit once and then gained it back right away.

 

I was triggered by a pretty ugly breakup of an engagement.

 

At first I just focused on counting calories. After that I started counting macros, then on nutrition. But the first 30 lbs were lost while eating less of a junk-food diet. The biggest thing that I needed to do was to eliminate the junk-food binging, so I started buying much smaller packages and banned a few specific ones from the house completely. Since then I've also greatly cut down on available prepared food, so that when a hard day comes I'm not faced with cooking a healthy dinner vs. opening a package of saltines, but rather cooking a healthy dinner vs. cooking an unhealthy dinner. One thing that helped, I think, is that I planned to hit a benchmark and then maintain, and I stayed there for a while before I started losing again.

 

The biggest thing that helps me stay motivated to maintain is health and not being in pain. I used to hurt my back a couple of times a year and be in horrible pain for a while, and since I dropped out of obese range it hasn't happened once. The biggest strategy I use is that I weigh daily. Sometimes I track calories and sometimes I don't. If I hit goal weight +5 I started tracking again. But when I'm getting close I consciously cut back just a little bit, so I don't have to track very often. If I hit goal weight -5 I also start tracking again.

 

I've been out of obese range for 4 years now though I've only been maintaining current BMI for less than a year. I dropped from obese to overweight, stayed there for 2 years, dropped from overweight to high normal, stayed there for 1.5 years, then dropped to the middle of normal.

 

My b/p has only dropped a little bit but I was highly active before my weight loss. I don't know about cholesterol because I never tested that, but it is fine now (171, hdl 66, iirc). I became active in my 20s and before that I know my glucose was badly controlled and my PCOS/IR were raging, but after I became physically active they went into remission even before I lost the weight (regular cycles, no dark skin, able to go periods of time without eating if necessary). I was not on any medication for those other than oral contraceptives. The biggest health improvement has been the reduction in joint and back pain.

This is awesome and encouraging to me. I suspect pcos is a thing here though I'm not diagnosed, definitely some form of this but when I do regular heavy exercise my blood sugar swings and cycles tend to regulate. It's not even that I don't want to do it I really enjoy, I just struggle to prioritise it in the crazy days.

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I am with Usami in that I started dieting young. I destroyed my metabolism. I cannot really lose weight. I would love to get down to where I was when I started. It is not possible. I am on my phone or I would go in to more detail. But I was about 132 and 5'4 maybe when I started. I am taller now, but weigh much more. Too much dieting simply shut down my metabolism.

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I am with Usami in that I started dieting young. I destroyed my metabolism. I cannot really lose weight. I would love to get down to where I was when I started. It is not possible. I am on my phone or I would go in to more detail. But I was about 132 and 5'4 maybe when I started. I am taller now, but weigh much more. Too much dieting simply shut down my metabolism.

 

That really stinks that so many people ended up with messed up metabolisms after early attempts at losing weight. 

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.

Recently, I've experienced an ease with eating that I haven't had for a number of years. I can even overeat on a special occasion without the scale popping right up the next day and can get back to normal eating right away. I take zero credit for that. Something seems to have really shifted with regard to my body chemistry. 

I tried to quote part of your post but I couldn't because it was in a quote. You talked about how sometimes it felt easy and sometimes it felt hard and you couldn't control it. I think that is likely hormones and thyroid stuff. I've noticed the sensation myself since developing Hashimotos especially. My hormones also went out of whack at the same time(my hormone profile looks like someone w/ PCOS) so it is hard to say how much is what but I've specifically noticed in relation to my thyroid levels. When my thyroid is bad it also effects my sleep which then screws with my appetite too. I was reading something today about T3 being a bit of an appetite suppressant. I don't know but I just had an increase(as my levels still weren't where they should be) and I was just telling a friend cravings have pretty much disappeared. Evidently some bodybuiliders use it to cut- of course that is crazy dangerous if you don't need it and if your levels get too high then it causes weight gain. It makes me think of those that have their thyroid and hormones perpetually off- sure makes it hard. I've not had much trouble maintaining weight before but since battling this thyroid crap it has been much harder.

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I became overweight and then slightly obese after my second child was born. Long story short, it was the folic acid added to the U.S. food supply. I cannot process the excess folic acid in the prenatal vitamins or the folic acid enriched food products. My iron dropped first, then D and B12. I felt the whole time that I needed more greens and tomatoes in my diet, and was hungry, but I should have had enough based on what I was eating. Restoring my iron, D, and B12 made me feel good, as did not eating folic acid enriched food products. I am slowly losing, just eating as I was raised minus the folic acid enriched products (I.e. must make my own bread)...little processed foods, mostly whole foods, no sugar.That keeps my macros easily in balance.

 

Interesting. How did you find out that was the cause for you? 

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That really stinks that so many people ended up with messed up metabolisms after early attempts at losing weight. 

It was not even just early attempts. I started at 132, went down to 106, went up to 142, went down to 108, went up to 150 or so, went down to...get the idea? I would have seriously restricted calories and excessive exercise. I had to withdraw from college two semesters because I was exercising so many hours a day, and losing nothing, that I did not have enough time to study. In the end, my metabolism is gone. I now see an endocrinologist every few months. I do not under eat anymore, try not to anyway. When I get very upset, I will not eat. I hear a lot of the myths from people. Such as, if you are overweight, you must be an emotional eater and eat when you are upset. Nope. I stop eating when upset. Or, you must be a closet eater. No one sees me eating stuff like fast food, fried foods, etc. This is because I don't eat those things. So then I hear "you must drink your calories. You cannot just drink soda all day and expect to lose weight." I actually do not drink my calories. Then I get the fad solutions...give up dairy, gluten, etc etc etc. Everyone has their magical fad solutions. Now I keep getting PMs on FB from someone trying to sell me on their Beachbody junk. I feel like the fad diet industry preys on people like me and people with eating disorders and such. I am done with it. I do not diet. End of story. Oh, and I even was lectured once, and not kidding "carrots are carbs so if you just didn't eat carrots, you would lose weight." Um, oh kay!

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I became overweight and then slightly obese after my second child was born. Long story short, it was the folic acid added to the U.S. food supply. I cannot process the excess folic acid in the prenatal vitamins or the folic acid enriched food products. My iron dropped first, then D and B12. I felt the whole time that I needed more greens and tomatoes in my diet, and was hungry, but I should have had enough based on what I was eating. Restoring my iron, D, and B12 made me feel good, as did not eating folic acid enriched food products. I am slowly losing, just eating as I was raised minus the folic acid enriched products (I.e. must make my own bread)...little processed foods, mostly whole foods, no sugar.That keeps my macros easily in balance.

I am still annoyed about this. I remember saying when they started adding folic acid here - you watch there will be some issues with this. I really think people can work out with the help of doctors whether they need to take supplements without it being added to the food supply. I can't keep up with demand for bread in our house making it entirely from organic flour (only way to get away from the added folate even conventional bread flours have it).

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My mom took me to WW when I was 11. We went on crazy crash diets together all the time - like eating only hard boiled eggs or only cottage cheese. I can't remember a time in my life where I wasn't thinking about food and the size of my body.

 

Erica

Oh Erica. This is me. I can so relate.

 

My parents started me in 4th grade on Nutri System. I had to bring my own pizza to my skating rink bday party. Yay!

 

From there the diets just never stopped! They had me hyponitized, WW, Jenny Craig, cabbage soup, Tuna fish and egg whites, no fat, low carb, strict calorie restriction, some pills that I can't remember, oh I could go on and on.

 

My food relationship is so screwed up. I've lived in fear of food my whole life.

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It was not even just early attempts. I started at 132, went down to 106, went up to 142, went down to 108, went up to 150 or so, went down to...get the idea? I would have seriously restricted calories and excessive exercise. I had to withdraw from college two semesters because I was exercising so many hours a day, and losing nothing, that I did not have enough time to study. In the end, my metabolism is gone. I now see an endocrinologist every few months. I do not under eat anymore, try not to anyway. When I get very upset, I will not eat. I hear a lot of the myths from people. Such as, if you are overweight, you must be an emotional eater and eat when you are upset. Nope. I stop eating when upset. Or, you must be a closet eater. No one sees me eating stuff like fast food, fried foods, etc. This is because I don't eat those things. So then I hear "you must drink your calories. You cannot just drink soda all day and expect to lose weight." I actually do not drink my calories. Then I get the fad solutions...give up dairy, gluten, etc etc etc. Everyone has their magical fad solutions. Now I keep getting PMs on FB from someone trying to sell me on their Beachbody junk. I feel like the fad diet industry preys on people like me and people with eating disorders and such. I am done with it. I do not diet. End of story. Oh, and I even was lectured once, and not kidding "carrots are carbs so if you just didn't eat carrots, you would lose weight." Um, oh kay!

 

Argh! How rude of people. 

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Oh Erica. This is me. I can so relate.

 

My parents started me in 4th grade on Nutri System. I had to bring my own pizza to my skating rink bday party. Yay!

 

From there the diets just never stopped! They had me hyponitized, WW, Jenny Craig, cabbage soup, Tuna fish and egg whites, no fat, low carb, strict calorie restriction, some pills that I can't remember, oh I could go on and on.

 

My food relationship is so screwed up. I've lived in fear of food my whole life.

 

:(

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Oh Erica. This is me. I can so relate.

 

My parents started me in 4th grade on Nutri System. I had to bring my own pizza to my skating rink bday party. Yay!

 

From there the diets just never stopped! They had me hyponitized, WW, Jenny Craig, cabbage soup, Tuna fish and egg whites, no fat, low carb, strict calorie restriction, some pills that I can't remember, oh I could go on and on.

 

My food relationship is so screwed up. I've lived in fear of food my whole life.

This makes me really sad and mad. Mum restricted eating to mealtimes and fruit but she never inflicted her crazy diets on the rest of us.

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I am still annoyed about this. I remember saying when they started adding folic acid here - you watch there will be some issues with this. I really think people can work out with the help of doctors whether they need to take supplements without it being added to the food supply.

I am sorry for those who have issues with the folic acid - but the above "people can talk to their doctors" does not work:

the deficiency in folic acid during the first weeks of pregnancy is what causes spina bifida -

at a point when many women are not yet aware that they are pregnant and thus are not receiving prenatal care.

And half of pregnancies are unplanned.

Edited by regentrude
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I haven't always tracked carefully, but technology has kept enough snapshots to put together a decent history.

 

If you're willing , can you give you starting and current BMI? (I am not a huge BMI fan, but it just gives an idea). 

My highest non-pregnant came to a 30.7.  My lowest healthy BMI in the past 5 years was 25.1.  I did hit 21.6 about a decade ago, but I did it in an unhealthy manner and looked and felt like crap.  So I'll just stick to the healthier years for the purposes of this conversation.

My current BMI is back up to 26.5.

 

Had you tried and failed before, or was this a first time success? 

I guess my answer above counts.  It wasn't 100% intentional, but Adderall killed my appetite and I was barely eating.  I consider that loss a fail, not the gain.

I don't consider my latest re-gain a fail b/c I am very conscious of the factors, which have all been choices, which have brought me here.  I'm satisfied with where I am today, today.  I have goals for the near future and I'm looking forward to them, but I don't hold myself to those standards in the meantime.

 

Was there a trigger that began your journey towards losing weight? 

There were the facts that I physically felt awful (from bad knees to picking up a Fibro dx with possible CF) and growing body image issues, but it eventually came down to seeing the numbers on the scale and knowing I would fall apart if they went 1lb higher.

 

What strategies enabled you to lose the weight? (Please include how you motivated yourself) 

I ate smaller, more nutritious meals, more frequently, and moved more.  Eventually, I started going to the gym with a focus on weight training.

My initial motivation was to be able to keep up with my kids.  I had been tired, uncomfortable, and depressed, and it was impacting them.  Once I got into a gym routine, my body craved it.  Once I fell out of that routine, it got a lot harder to be active.

 

What strategies enable you to maintain the loss?  (Again, please include how you keep yourself motivated to maintain)

I only maintained my lowest for about 6 months.  Before that, I maintained my mid-range (26-27) for about 18 months, and I have for another 6 months since picking up those 10lbs.  It may not be all that impressive since it's still in the "overweight" category, and it's not where I hope to stay, but it is my more easily manageable zone, and it's kept me away from obesity for a good 2.5 years. My strategy is to eat well most of the time and pay attention to how much I'm moving.  My plan is to get back into my gym routine when we finish the school year so it'll be firmly established before we begin the new year.  I am very much aware of how my personal muscle mass (or lack of) impacts my overall weight, my energy level, my pain levels, and my food choices.

 

How long have you maintained a loss? 

Above

 

Are you healthier? Have there been changes in your bp, cholesterol, glucose, etc. 

I feel a million times healthier than before, though not as great as my "best" spot.

As far as labs go, my triglycerides were inching up at my highest, but all of my other stats have always been fine.  I've even had my blood pressure taken under stressful conditions and it's still been peachy.
I almost never have knee pain anymore.  No fibro signs in a long time.  I still get tired a lot, but I think that's a combo of stress and being an introvert that is spending a lot of time on activities these days.  Or maybe those 2 things are the same, lol.

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I am sorry for those who have issues with the folic acid - but the above "people can talk to their doctors" does not work:

the deficiency in folic acid during the first weeks of pregnancy is what causes spina bifida -

at a point when many women are not yet aware that they are pregnant and thus are not receiving prenatal care.

And half of pregnancies are unplanned.

 

From my research, it is actually a simple solution to take a different supplement (5-MTHF vs  Folic Acid) to provide the needed folate:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20608755

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24494987

(There are lots more references, these are just the top two on my list.)

 

All women of child-bearing age should be taking one or the other.

Edited by Joules
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I became overweight and then slightly obese after my second child was born. Long story short, it was the folic acid added to the U.S. food supply. I cannot process the excess folic acid in the prenatal vitamins or the folic acid enriched food products. My iron dropped first, then D and B12. I felt the whole time that I needed more greens and tomatoes in my diet, and was hungry, but I should have had enough based on what I was eating. Restoring my iron, D, and B12 made me feel good, as did not eating folic acid enriched food products. I am slowly losing, just eating as I was raised minus the folic acid enriched products (I.e. must make my own bread)...little processed foods, mostly whole foods, no sugar.That keeps my macros easily in balance.

 

Is there a specific name/syndrome for this?  I've loved greens and tomatoes since I was a child, and I seriously add them to 75% of the food we eat.  It's a crazy, over the top, obsession, and I wonder if my body somehow knows something that i haven't acknowledged.

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I am gearing up to start up again.  I go for a few weeks, don't lose, get discouraged, and quit.

i have to do something that I can sustain long term.  

 

I know my body.  I am short (under 5') and the only way I maintained staying slim AT ALL was to measure, count, write it down, and stay away from junk food.  I  haven't done that.  I have been trying to find some sort of way to just eat "in moderation" like WW.  But it doesn't work.  I am either too hungry or I choose the junk over the healthy food.

 

Several friends are on diets.  Some are on the highly restricted diets but I have seen them crash and burn over and over again, so I am just waiting for them to crash and burn again (I don't wish it on them, I just know the pattern).  They are doing things like Isagenix, Atkins, etc....

 

But I have one friend who is steadily losing and she and her husband are doing great.  They are doing the 21 day fix from Beach Body.  She has lost 2 dress sizes since January.  Her husband has lost 40 pounds or so.  They are losing between 1-2 pounds per week (occasionally more.)  I have started looking into it.  She said she doesn't do their workout, but walks or does weights 20-30 min./day.   I started researching and found that you can actually purchase the food program and containers on Amazon for about $12.  If you aren't interested in their DVDs for the workout, you can do it pretty cheap.   I have decided for $12 I at least get some good leak proof containers out of the deal.  

 

I will still calculate calories because just because it SAYS you can have X amount, doesn't mean *I* can, I know my body well enough to know that.  

 

There have been 2 times in my LIFE I have lost weight and kept it off for a period of time.  Once was with Jenny Craig.  But I was HUNGRY all the time and exercised at least 45-60 min./day.  I ate 1000 calories to 1100 calories per day.  Then the other time was a program called PRISM where you weigh/measure your foods, but you don't eat sugar or flour and eat between 1000-1200 calories per day.  I exercised with that one too but wasn't quite as hungry because I ate a lot of lentils, more protein, and no junk.

 

UGH.  It is a huge battle and I have to psych myself up to get to it again.

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Folate is what people get from food. Folic acid is an artificial vitamin not found in food. People with certain variations of the MTHFR gene don't convert folic acid into the various forms of folate well, which means they end up functionally deficient. So everyone who eats "enriched" foods is being dosed with folic acid, despite 30-40% of the population having trouble processing it.

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Folate is what people get from food. Folic acid is an artificial vitamin not found in food. People with certain variations of the MTHFR gene don't convert folic acid into the various forms of folate well, which means they end up functionally deficient. So everyone who eats "enriched" foods is being dosed with folic acid, despite 30-40% of the population having trouble processing it.

So wait...

 

I have MTHFR. I have not done anything different on my diet relating to it. And I only have 1 copy. Should I? I was taking Deplin until my insurance cut it off. 

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Oh....I should have added that since I have kept off 70 pounds from my highest weight over the past 15 years.  I'm still obese though.

 

 

Yeah, but 70 lbs down for 15 years is quite an accomplishment!

Edited by Laurie4b
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I have nothing to add, but watching with interest. Does it say something bad about me that every time I see MTHFR, I can't help thinking of a very bad curse word (words)? 

 

I started deliberately calling it the mother-father gene to avert that.  :tongue_smilie:

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And there is definitely one thing that bothers me. Someone who has dropped a class in obesity (from class 3 to class 2, or whatever) but is still obese, and maintained that loss, has still improved their odds of not getting a bunch of obesity-related diseases, as well as taken a lot of mass off their joints. Yet we don't recognize that victory. We only say 'yes, but you are obese'. It bothers me greatly that we do this.

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And there is definitely one thing that bothers me. Someone who has dropped a class in obesity (from class 3 to class 2, or whatever) but is still obese, and maintained that loss, has still improved their odds of not getting a bunch of obesity-related diseases, as well as taken a lot of mass off their joints. Yet we don't recognize that victory. We only say 'yes, but you are obese'. It bothers me greatly that we do this.

A million times yes and then that pressure leads to more failure as the impression is that it doesn't matter because it isn't good enough, it isn't success if your not thin.

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I am sorry for those who have issues with the folic acid - but the above "people can talk to their doctors" does not work:

the deficiency in folic acid during the first weeks of pregnancy is what causes spina bifida -

at a point when many women are not yet aware that they are pregnant and thus are not receiving prenatal care.

And half of pregnancies are unplanned.

Yeah I guess that's true. In Aus we are advised to start taking folic acid before trying to conceive but I guess where the pregnancy is unplanned it's more of a problem. Although I believe something like 1/5 have the mthfr gene so it's not a small portion of the population that we are potentially causing health issues for.

 

Eta I double checked that figure and it's not 1/5 it's 5pc so much smaller than I was thinking though still significant.

Edited by Ausmumof3
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I'm not willing to give exact numbers.  I don't live by the numbers and I think there is too much hyper-focus on numbers when it comes to human beings.  That said, the general gist is this: I lost well over 100 pounds and have kept it off for almost 8 years now.  Starting BMI was over 40. Current is in the mid-20 range as of my last physical. I'm still considered overweight, but this is as good as it's going to get for me. 

 

I lost the weight by eating less (not VLCD) calories, and reducing carbs (not no or low carb).  It took about 2 years to lose the weight.  I know I'll get shit for saying that less calories in and more calories expended helped me, and I'll probably also get shit for saying that I'd never get or recommend bariatric surgery, but you asked what worked for me and that's what it is.  My weight has always been a struggle -- moreso after puberty.  I have been lucky that I have never had health problems related to my weight.  I understand why I eat and what foods do to me.  That made all the difference in being able to control what I ate so I could lose the weight. 

 

FWIW, my brother struggles with weight, but also had life-threatening diseases that were exacerbated by his weight.  He did have bariatric surgery and lost considerable weight.  It has improved his health.  His weight loss stalled and he has not been able to reduce more.  Overall he is positive about the surgery because it did relieve the other factors threatening his life, but it isn't more weight lost than he had previously lost without surgery. 

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