I’m a 43-year-old who has undertaken a journey to lose 115 pounds without surgery. It’s taken me years, but I’m almost there! Currently maintaining around 105 pounds gone for 3 years.
I’ve gone from 250 pounds to doing a triathlon!
Back story (cue music):
I have struggled with my weight for most of my life. Lost and gained several people through out my adult years LOL!. I have done many weight loss programs and most were successful to a degree, but something was missing since I kept putting the weight back on.
Seems like I wasn’t really eating that much extra food, and still gaining weight. I had gotten up to 250 pounds. How I hated that number.
In early 2003, I read a book by Kathleen DesMaisons called The Sugar Addict’s Recovery Program. This was after my husband read Sugar Busters. I began to realize that it wasn’t necessarily the amount of food I was eating, but the type of food! We had cut out a lot of fat from our diet, but replaced it with sugar. Seems like everything lower in fat was loaded with sugar! I began a slow weaning off of refined carbs, sugars and “white things” – replacing them with whole grain products and eating more protein. I was not concerned about portion control during this period. Over the course of a year I lost about 20 pounds.
At the end of March 2004, I joined Weight Watchers online to get a better sense of portion control, and the weight came off faster since for a while. I had lost almost 80 pounds total by this point (2 years to do), and then I went on a plateau from hell starting in Spring of 2005. It lasted probably 6 months, then I gained back some weight. I was at the point of crying every week from exercising hard, eating very little (Point wise) and seeing nothing on the scale. I wasn’t getting any smaller either.
It was a very stressful period of time then as well, as we were putting our house on the market to move ourselves and our business cross country, and my grandmother passed away during that time. We lived in temporary housing for almost a month, which did not include a kitchen, and our belongings were in a warehouse. That kind of sucked. So, the Mexican bakery that we passed every day to go to work became a second home. I started to not care at this point and broke my plateau by gaining back some weight.
Once we got settled into our new home in October 2007, I tried eating right again, and tried several things (going back on WW, EDiets GI Impact). I was doing hard physical work as I rehabbed a house and biked there and back every day, but was stuck back around 200 pounds.
I was so tired of thinking about food all the time that I joined Nutrisystem in Sept of 2007. I was a little skeptical that anything could work, but lo and behold – the weight started coming off again! I know people knock prepackaged food programs, but I really need to just *stop* thinking about food for a while and have someone else tell me what to eat. NS actually was really good to help me understand real portion sizes and combining foods to stay full. Their meals are always a combo of fats, proteins, and carbs (although I think too low on fat), which is really a satisfying way to eat. I did NS for about 6 months. I then transitioned off the NS foods in the spring of 2008 and began eating my own foods. Doing this I have gotten down to my current weight. It’s a slow process, but feels more permanent, if that makes any sense.
We try very hard to eat unprocessed and more natural foods when possible. I have lost the taste for most prepackaged snacks anyway (although I still have a problem with Reese’s PB cups) – and I do love the cupcakes!
I toyed with going vegetarian, but I truly love meat and feel that humans are really omnivores at heart. So, to compromise, we purchase our meats from local farmers or companies that raise the animals humanely so that we don’t support the big corporate machine (end social commentary)
I feel like I now have the complete puzzle put together on the best type of eating for me! I can eat this way for the rest of my life, and have learned that if I really want something – I should make room for it. I definitely don’t like feeling deprived and would eat it anyway, so why not plan for it and really, really enjoy it?