I need some guidance and support for weight loss

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by ctmom05, Dec 28, 2008.

  1. ctmom05

    ctmom05 Member

    Being overweight is not usually just one simple problem.

    My weight problem is a result of overeating. I am not one of those folks who has an underlying medical issues that makes the pounds pile on.

    I know darn well the basics of good nutrition and exercise, but I am not actively applying those principals to my own situation. Oddly, my insurance covers problems that arise out of being overweight, but they will not cover nutrition and exercise support.

    My insurance suggested I look at self-help ways of dealing with the conglomeration of issues that I have described; things that are cost free and involve sharing with folks who have been there and done that - including some who have been succesful in the battle.

    Any suggestions for groups or programs that folks here have hooked up with, that offer diet/nutritional/exercise guidance and support?
  2. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    There is the Healthy Living forum on this board. Also check out sparkpeople.com. It's free and has a lot of good tools.
  3. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    Hi Chris - no suggestions for groups except the forum Heather suggested.

    Just wanted to send an encouraging word!
  4. ctmom05

    ctmom05 Member

    Thanks for the support suggestions! I took a look at SparkPeople and it looks practical and motivating. I am hoping to make some healthy changes for myself :)
  5. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Be sure to check in on the healthy living forum. I did ww (work for them now, very part time) but I know it can get pricey. The group support is great. I have heard good things about Sparkpeople.
  6. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Hi, Chris.

    First, congrats for taking the steps! You go, girl!

    Second, I was able to google the weight watchers points formula (I think it was actually the previous formula, but it worked) and used it for myself without joining, and it really did work.

    Third, I haven't tried it, but a few friends have, and they swear by hypnotherapy. Around here, they have it done for about $35 and get a refresher every 6 months or so, and for my friends who've lost weight or stopped smoking, they say its amazing.

  7. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    My husband and I had great problems losing weight on our own until we went to Weight Watchers and today I work for them. Right now, they have introduced a slightly different version of the program, that I personally think is fantastic. I lost two pounds last week on it and this included lots of cheating on Christmas Day.

    I too like the HL forum here...it is very helpful.

    Besides WW, I also really find help in writing down everything I eat and reading about what other people are doing in different magazines like Women's Health, Weight Watchers and Fitness.

    Wishing you good health and good luck!
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Chris, I post on this on the Healthy Living forum (although probably not as often as I should!).

    I've known for years that I needed to lose weight. My health isn't good, I don't burn off calories because I can't exercise aerobically. Then I saw a specialist about my liver being in bad shape (we don't know why, none of the usual reasons) and he said it was due to my weight, I MUST lose weight.

    "yeah, right. And just HOW am I going to do that?" I said to him. "I'm capable of dieting, then my body goes into famine mode and the weight loss stops, then goes back on, but with a metabolism slowed even more."

    he gave me the usual rubbish about "All you have to do is cut calories enough and the weight will begin to come off."

    I said, "Yeah - in theory. But I hve to diet at malnutrition levels to lose weight."

    Then he said something enlightening to me. "Ok, so do it!"

    So I did. To help me, he gave me a prescription for diet pills. At first he was going to give me Xenical, but all it does is train your body to eat a low-fat diet. I was already doing that; probably the low-fat diet had aggravated the problem, because it tends to be higher in sugar. So he gave me Reductil (I think it has a different name in the US). It is supposed to stop your body going into famine mode. It also is supposed to suppress your appetite. Not that I noticed. It also cost me A$95 a month, but I figured if it worked, it was worth it. The doctor had said I was heading for gastric bypass surgery, and I didn't want that.

    So I rememvered what he said about cutting calories enough even to the point of malnutrition, and did it. If I was heading for gastric bypass, then I would eat as if I'd already had the surgery.

    Other restrictions he gave me - no sugar, no fat. My insulin resistance was up and I was one step away from Type II diabetes.

    Taking it all together, I'm a mess. So I began the diet.

    The diet pills he prescribed work best if you begin the diet AFTER you start them. I bought the best diet book in Australia (it's endorsed by CSIRO, it's like getting a diet book put out by FDA) and modified it. The book had a calculation so I could work out how many calories a day I burn, and I worked out my diet based on that. I had to cut back to 800 calories a day.

    My premise - no fat. No sugar. Cut overall calories by cutting back on a lot of carbs where possible. Switch all refined carbs for wholegrain. Eliminate all carbs that can't be so switched. Take multivitamins to make up for what I wasn't eating.

    Final diet - I make my own oat-free muesli. It's my magic trick for wishing fat away. If I'm hungry I have another serve of muesli. It's about 50% bran by weight. The rest is mostly puffed brown rice, some nuts, some finely chopped dried fruit. I use a one cup ramekin for my breakfast bowl and use skim milk.

    Over the day I drink at least a litre of water (or water equivalent - Greek-style iced coffee - decaf - which is mostly water) and eat a handful of prunes for the fibre and to keep things moving. Two small pieces of 70% cocoa chocolate (a vital vitamin pill). I try to keep lunch to four small bites - two pieces of salmon sushi, or a small open salad sandwich with smoked salmon, or maybe some fried brown rice with prawns. Lean protein for two of three meals a day at least (enough protein to match the size of the palm of your hand). This can include two fried eggs as long as you use a non-stick pan and the thinnest smear of oil.

    To take those pills you need to keep an eye on blood pressure; if it's already high, the diet pills won't be permitted. But frankly, I don't think they made much difference to me. I've stopped the pills but not gained back any weight (until Christmas - I've gained about 3 pounds but I've already lost half of it).

    One piece of fruit a day, for me, because natural sugars in fruit are also a problem. Strawberries are an exception - I eat a punnet a day sometimes. No worries - they don't count. My one piece of fruit I would often have as frozen fruit juice, as dessert. I've since found a lo-carb ice cream that tastes decadent but is low carb, low fat, no added sugar at all. I eat it with fresh mango.

    No alcoholic drinks (except an occasional sip from my husband's glass). No fruit juice. No sweetened drinks (unless using artificial sweeteners).

    I had to be strict with myself, but quickly found I was coping better than I thought.

    I was on the diet pills for 7 months but lost most of the weight in the first four months. Since then I'm losing maybe a kilo a month at most. I lost 24 kilos in all - that's 53 pounds.

    And after all that - my liver is MARGINALLY better. So maybe that specialist will now take me seriously, when I say I don't think diet is responsible. The thing is, my weight wasn't helping my liver. It's just tat there's something else wrong. But hey, I've finally lost tat weight, I'm buying clothes off the rack from high fashion stores and I now walk past the "plus sizes" stores I used to haunt. Even their smallest sizes no longer fit me. I used to look middle-aged, people now tell me I look 20 years younger. I'm slimmer than my eldest daughter. I wear hand-me-downs from a 15 year old. Hand-me-ups. I can wear high heels again - I NEVER thought I would be able to do that, with my weak muscles.

    I will always have to be careful, but I feel I have successfully changed my lifestyle. My body now instinctively recognises food I shouldn't eat, and I feel happiest when I can get the healthier food. But I'm very happy to eat a smoked salmon or Thai prawn salad for lunch and the occasional coconut cream chicken curry for dinner (with brown rice, of course).

    I still indulge, I just eat more carefully.

    Eating out is a huge problem - I've found ways to cope.

    It can be done. I never thought I could, I look back in photos and I've been large since difficult child 3 was born, somewhat large even before. I can't exercise much but I was walking around the block. Then I got a torn muscle (gardening, squatting beside the vegetable bed) and I couldn't even walk around the block! But I still lost weight.

    I had people sabotaging me, very annoying. Watch for that one. mother in law would tell people loudly (especially people who complimented me on my new figure), "She looks terrible! She's overdoing it, she's wasting away, she looks such a ghastly pale colour..." (it was winter - I always look a ghastly colour in winter). So I began to wear a small amount of blusher, to disguise my pale face. Finally husband spoke to her. She still offers me cakes and biscuits, I've learnt to keep saying no.

    I had serious health problems as my incentive. I now have my improved looks as incentive to stay slim. Well, slimmer. You will also need an incentive. As you lose weight, it can snowball and help you continue. But it WILL slow, because among other things you will weigh less and therefore burn fewer calories. You will need to 'tweak' your diet when the weight loss slows.

    But only you can do this. Only you can keep it going. I was the only one dieting in a household of people some of whom need to GAIN weight. I'm the chef. I had to turn my obsession with food into obsessing about preparing tasty food I couldn't eat, for other people. Watching them eating comfort food had to become my comfort. I've been perfecting recipes to try out on other people.

    Must go, I've planned to make chocolate pots for dessert while sister in law and her kids are visiting. I might even allow myself to eat one - each one contains slightly more than my daily ration of chocolate, plus a little milk and egg. I'll just leave the cream off the top of mine.

  9. Mayapple5

    Mayapple5 New Member

    15 years ago I weighed 230# I hated myself! I made a decision to do something about it after the doctor put me on blood pressure medicine and high cholesterol medicine.

    I found a program that taught me that I could watch what I ate, eat sensibly but don't eat until my stomach told me I was hungry (with a growl) and then stop when I was full, Not beyond! not stuffed! and don't eat again until I felt the growl. It was working. I have gone by that rule of thumb for all these years and I have gone from 230# to 165# and stayed there. About three years ago I found t-tapp on the internet. It's a simple exercise program. I suggest you try it before you buy it and it changed my life. I went from a size 22 to a size 14 and still working on it. I have thrown away all my big sizes and have kept my weight off and have kept my size down. It feels so good to put on my new size 12 jeans! :D I just love it! And I exercise jsut 15 minutes a day three days a week, I hardly break out in a sweat, but it works and it does help my back and keeps me flexible. Check out t-tapp in your search engine, there are a lot of forums there with answers to any questions you might have, and on line videos to try before you buy.

    Good luck
  10. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Hey Chris, how's it going?

    The best advice I've received over the years from more than one source has been "Everything in moderation".

    If you make too many drastic changes all at once, you will likely fail. It's best to focus on one change at a time.

    For instance, you know that you likely have to cut out all white foods, such as white breads and sugars, and wasted calories you will find in pre-packaged foods, candies, soft drinks, etc. So, you may want to begin there. Replace all your white breads, crackers, etc., with healthier whole grain, organic bread-foods. Give up chips altogether and instead you can satisfy that crunch with Diamond Pecan Nut-thins. Instead of white italian bread with dinner, have the whole grain organic ciabbatta rolls (sold at Stop & Shop) and limit yourself to 1/2 a roll. And instead of eating regular pasta, buy a whole grain, organic pasta - it has a nice rich nutty flavor and is more filling, so you eat less. Anything that is whole grain and organic will fill you up faster and stave off hunger longer - and it's better for your body as far as the entire digestive process as well as your organs, namely, your heart.

    Fats: Do not substitute butter with margarine - margaring has trans fats in it and it takes your body longer to digest. It would best to give it up and instead use a spread that is made from olive oil. They sell them near the butter. Use olive oil when cooking anything. Eat a handful of walnuts each day - not too many, but just enough. The fats in nuts is healthy and is the perfect snack between meals. When eating soups, choose broth based soups as opposed to cream based soups. Less fat. Also, if you're like me, you love half and half in your coffee - I refuse to give it up, but I have given up milk and when I do drink milk, which is almost never, I use 1% or skim. Low fat cheeses are available, as well as low fat sour cream, etc. But really, you don't need dairy - you can get your calcium in other ways, such as dark green leafy vegetables and by taking a supplement.

    Focus on the ways in which you will be adding to your diet rather than taking away from your diet. Load up on vegetables and fruits. I get by with 2 fruits a day most days. Sometimes 3. I have a banana in the morning, followed by maybe an orange or an apple, then maybe some dried apricots or prunes. For lunch I will have a big salad with some chickpeas or other legumes in it - no cheeses or heavy cream dressing. Instead I may throw in some avacado and a light homemade vinegar dressing with some seasonings. The legumes and avacado make it very filling and delish. Or, sometimes I will have a soup for lunch instead of salad. You will also be adding homemade, healthier foods to your daily menu. You can get creative. On www.recipezaar.com you can find many vegetarian and healthy recipes that are very easy to plan and prepare. Explore. The culinary world is at your fingertips. Stear clear of any packaged foods labeled "diet" or prepared meals that you pop into the micro - they are filled with sodium and just icky (in my humble opinion-lol).

    I don't know if you drink alcohol, but hard liquor and beer are the alcoholic beverages that are real killers. White wine is not the greatest either but it's not the worst. Red wine, in moderation, is actually beneficial to most diets. I have glass of red wine almost every night with my dinner. Just one. Overdoing it is where you will run into trouble. So, you don't have to give it up, just don't over do it.

    Once you have made a few of these changes, then add a bit of movement into your life. A short brisk walk for 10-15 min/day and gradually work your way up to 20-25 min and eventually to at least 35 min/day, say, 3-5 times/week. You don't need a lot of strenuous activity - but you do have to move. Exercise alone will not make you healthy, and diet alone will not make you healthy, but the two together, a little bit of change at a time, will definitely make you healthier and feel better. So, go slowly and make changes you can live with a little at a time.

    Hope this helps. Also, some good information can be found in the book: "You - on a diet" or "You - the owner's manual" or "The skinny B!tch" (very funny read) and lastly, I gathered a lot of interesting and useful information from "The South Beach Diet". I followed it beginning with phase 2 and skipped phase 1 because I found it was too limited and didn't fit well into my lifestyle. Many people begin in Phase 2 because the changes are not so drastic. Good luck!
  11. ctmom05

    ctmom05 Member

    I really appreciate everyone sharing so openly with me. For now, I am trying SparkPeople. I looked it over to see what principals they are built upon, before I reg'd - to see if it looked like a good fit for what I am trying to accomplish.

    I think I know the principals of sound nutrition; applying those principals to Chris' real life when I am in the midst of a craving is where I run into trouble.

    SparkPeople seems to be a well rounded site and has sections that address working towards better overall health thru fitness, nutrition, weight loss, etc.

    I'll keep you updated on how I am doing, even if I slip and fall from time to time.

    Thanks everybody........