July 28 is a big day for me. A year ago today our beloved Pooh posted a thread on Grab Bag titled: "I decided to start a diet."
Several of us were curious and went over to the fitness link she provided, which is 100% free. Exactly a year later, four of us have lost a total of 167 pounds, interacting and supporting each other all the way. Whoa!
Right off the top, I want to say: THANK YOU, POOH! You have changed the quality of my life, solved a mystery (weight) that I have unsuccessfully struggled with for the last 45 years (since I was 45) and have undoubtedly contributed to my overall health and longevity.
None of us are doing it the same. That's the beauty of it. Each one of us has learned to do what works within the framework it offers. My plan is built around knowing how many calories my body burns every day, 1200. (It was calculated for me.) Two huge databases are there for us to use. The first provides the number of calories that are in specified amounts of individual foods and if you can't find what you are looking for there, you can add it to the data base. (I was so tickled when I immediately found McDonald's Caramel Sundae. (See - I told you it was different! LOL!) The second database provides the number of calories burned in specific amounts of various exercises. That list is also very comprehensive and can be expanded.
What I have learned is how many extra calories I have to burn daily, via exercise, over and above the basic 1200, to attain weight loss. I choose what I want to eat and how and when I exercise. (For me, exercise is usually two half-hour, fast dog walks plus Curves.) However, the amount of exercise I do can change daily or I can skip it completely without going off my program, by just doing even-steven.
I don't do well, long term, with either deprivation or rigid structure. I often eat more than 1200 calories a day because I have earned those extra calories exercising. To lose weight, I simply don't eat all of the calories I burn exercising. And I never eat less than 1200. I was told my body could then go into starvation mode and store fat.
It's honestly that simple for me. The others do it differently and are having the same dramatic results. There's a great deal of freedom in the program. For instance, each of us eats what we choose, from a true vegetarian intake to all kinds of other variations, according to preference. The same is true of exercise. And we're all winning.
I found the plan very simple to follow, once I understood it. As you know, I'm 85 and not the swiftest minnow in the creek. I made it up at first that it was just too complicated for me but of course, that was the whiny little kid in me. LOL! Not so, I just log in my exercise, log in my food and stay within the parameters I have set for myself.
We dialogue with each other nearly every day and our program also offers us the option to chat privately. Our menus are published daily, (if we choose) as well as our exercise, (also an option.) We read each other's menus, get ideas, share recipes, commiserate when we hit a snag and cheer each other on. Those who want to, share their weight loss, as well. It's all elective. And I gotta' say we've become very close over the last year.
I started at 187 pounds a year ago today. I'm 5' 2", so I had no place to put it. I am now at 156 and headed for a goal of 145. However, I will not be stopping my daily check-in at MFP and will continue to calculate my food and exercise when I reach my target weight. That's because I have come to value my health and I actually enjoy the extended family we have created there. Come on over and take a look, if you are so inclined. We're at: www.MyFitnessPal.com and if you want to 'friend' me, I'm 'Weegi' over there. ?
Congratulations to you, Mom, and to all of your My Fitness Pal collaborators.
Luise, Congratulations on your weight loss accomplishment! And congratulations to the other ladies who helped reach that impressive weight loss total. I think that will be the next step for me. I feel that I have neglected my health over the last few months and it's time to make some real changes. I will check it out, thanks!!!
Congrtulations, Luise, that is amazing!!
Grammie, I finally realized I had no control over what DS/DIL said or did; I had no control over DDD's situation; I couldn't change the people I work with or radically change my financial status...but I could change what I ate and how I moved. Oddly, just changing those two things has been very empowering in all those other areas too! Not that suddenly I became rosy rosy millionaire, but I am happier, more productive, less stressed and way more hopeful. I started by improving my diet little by little, which led to me feeling like exercising more. It has been a very gradual process for me rather than a drastic change. I now realize this is a lifestyle change and I'm definitely in for the long haul.
I am curious as to what kind of diet plan others followed. There is so many conflicting opinions as to what to eat and what not to eat. Fruits and vegetables just don't calm the stomach like a brownie does!
G - Honestly, for me it isn't the diet. Any diet will work...(and fail.) For me, it's the community support, the sharing and the love on the MFP Website...that brought awareness and consistency to both eating and exercise...and...thus, weight loss. Come on over to www.MyFitnessPal.com and take a look. I have let go of the diet-mentality and have, as Pen described it so well, a new lifestyle. It's been a year. It's real. I am happier and healthier and more "present" than I have ever been...and I'm 85!
I don't know how I missed this but somehow it never showed up in my "unread posts".
Wow! I am so happy for you guys. You have rocked it! You are very welcome Luise and although I may have found the website, it is you guys that have put in all the effort. I'm very proud of all of you and honored to call you all my friends.
Grammie, it really is a lifestyle change more than a diet and it is all about checks and balances. I started it last July when I found it and I stopped in December. I had a goal weight of 150, but when I got to 155 I felt really good and was comfortable in my clothes. I had lost 27 lbs. Now, 6 months later I have put back 6 lbs of it. I see that as an accomplishment because when I felt I was "dieting" before, I could put 5 lbs back on in a week when I finished. I have just started it back again, to shed those 6 lbs as I don't want to let it get back up any further.
Luise explained it perfectly. You can have that brownie Grammie on this as long as you realize it's 400 calories and that means you have to add 45 minutes of brisk walking to your day to burn up that 400 calories. You simply maintain a 1200 calorie diet. Now, that's the amount of calories that you get by not doing anything...just being you for the day. If you want to eat more, you earn the calories by excercising, walking, yard-work, yoga, zumba, biking....whatever floats your boat. If I do an hour of excercise and burn 300 calories, I get to eat 300 calories more. It's almost like earning your brownie :)
It truly works and I so happy the fab four have been able to stay on it for a year! Congratulations guys!
Thanks Pooh! And G - if you want to lose weight you don't eat your exercise calories. For instance, I have burned 676 extra calories exercising today. That gives me 1876 calories to play with. I will only eat 1200. The rest will go to weight loss. And tomorrow if I eat all of my calories earned and none go to weight loss, I am still doing the program. As Pen says, it's a whole different ball game and that's why it works. :D
The thing is to make the info work for you. Eat what your body needs, watch the input vs outgo, and change your approach if you need to get off a plateau. Go into it feeling as if you're adding to your life, not that you're depriving yourself. I thought I'd last a week, lol.