Ok. You Gained Weight. These 5 Tips Will Get You Back on Track

by Kirby Bumpus, MPH
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Ok. You Gained Weight. These 5 Tips Will Get You Back on Track

“I’ve gained 15lbs and I CAN’T stop eating!”

That’s the text I received from a friend recently. She told me another friend asked purely out of kindness and concern if something terrible had happened because they noticed she had gained a decent amount of weight recently. This gain was after a check up where her doctor mentioned she needed to lose about 20 pounds. Eek!

This was the wake-up call she needed.

She was mortified, and while she knew things had gotten out of hand, the idea of trying to lose a total of 35 pounds seemed out of reach. A former Division I athlete, she couldn’t believe she was in this position at age 30.

I knew how she felt; I’ve been there (a few times)…well not the DI athlete part.

In college, I tore my ACL and meniscus. One surgery turned into two and a third all within a year. I gained at least 40 pounds in a few months. I’m 5-foot-6 and I weighed about 200 pounds (no, that wasn’t muscle weight). It was a tough moment. I can’t remember the exact number on the scale at the student health center that day. I knew it was a problem, and I didn’t feel together physically or emotionally.


“I felt hopeless. I gave up. I took a golf cart just to get to class.”


While that might not sound like a huge number, it was “crisis weight” for me. Pre-surgery I was active, working out daily and biking a ton, I weighed 150 pounds and thought I needed to lose 5 pounds (ha!) After surgery, my goal weight felt so far away I would’ve been grateful to hit 160 that my approach was, “what’s the point in trying?!”

I felt hopeless. I gave up. I took a golf cart just to get to class. I didn’t do any cardio. I hit up In N Out and then went directly to Krispy Kreme to top it off. I was eating my emotions.

I say this to illustrate that I know firsthand how weight can spiral. Quickly.  

Getting out of that slump took years and a combination of logging my meals, making healthier choices, setting realistic goals, taking care of my body and upping my workout routine. I discovered I had more energy and felt better, which was empowering. Until I started feeling better, I didn’t realize I had forgotten what healthy felt like.

OK, back to my friend. I listened to her worries. She vented. We laughed. We came close to tears. Then we started troubleshooting.


READ MORE BETTER THAN EVER

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> 2017 Testing Your Sanity? Here Are 5 Ways to Cope


Whether you are starting your weight loss journey, finding yourself in the middle of the struggle or working on maintenance, here are tips to keep you on track:  

1. START NOW AND START SMALL

You gained weight…it’s a bummer, but you can’t harp on it: move forward. Stop saying “tomorrow will be the day I start.” Once you start you are closer to finishing. Most people love that post workout high, but the toughest part is starting that workout. On days I don’t want to work out, I tell myself to just do a little cardio. I get on the elliptical and push myself to the 5-minute mark, and I know I’m halfway there. Since I’m already in the gym and sweaty, it’s easier to talk myself into 10 minutes of strength moves, too. Some days 20–30 minutes is enough.

Apply the same philosophy to food and goal setting. Instead of focusing on the 80 total pounds you want to lose, put your energy towards the five pounds you can realistically lose in April.

The most exciting part is, if you’ve fallen off the wagon completely, taking a few small steps typically results in changes pretty quickly.

2. LOSE THE GUILT

It’s easy to feel ashamed, guilty and embarrassed if you’ve gained or regained weight. Weight gain happens, so shift your focus from the past and set your sights on the concrete actions you can take to move forward.

So quit beating yourself up over that cup of ice cream you ate late last night, instead focus on what you are going to do tonight. Have a banana, greek yogurt or string cheese on hand just in case that nighttime hunger strikes again.

Make attainable goals and celebrate yourself when you’ve hit them – strive for progress, not perfection. If you are struggling with intense feelings of shame and guilt this next tip might be especially helpful.

3. CONSIDER HELP FROM THE PROS

Whether it’s a personal trainer, nutritionist, medical doctor or therapist, it can help to have someone holding you accountable. Depending on your situation, it can also help to sit down with a professional to unpack why you may have gained the weight in the first place and what you should be doing to make a change that sticks. If you have preexisting conditions, are trying to lose more than 100 pounds or have a BMI of 40 or greater, consulting a doctor ensures you are embarking on the plan that is best for your health.

For me, getting back on track after surgery required checking in with my physical therapist and surgeon about my game plan. It was important to learn what exercises were off limits for the moment and which I’d have to modify or avoid long term (I won’t be running any marathons or doing deep jump squats anytime soon and that’s ok).

4. MAKE A MEAL PLAN

It’s always helpful to plan out your meals when you first start to prevent you from falling back into old bad habits. Personally, I love to cook (plus, cooking at home saves money) and incorporate as many veggies as possible into every meal (even breakfast). If your schedule isn’t conducive to meal planning and getting groceries in advance, try a meal delivery service. My friend signed up for a paleo food delivery service to jumpstart her weight loss plan.

5. REACH OUT TO FRIENDS

Tell your family and friends you are working on your weight-loss goals. They may want to join you, and even do a challenge together. Your family can also create an environment that’s more hospitable to your goals by keeping junk food out of sight or better yet, not bringing unhealthy food into the home in the first place. Sometimes it just helps to have someone to vent to.

Today, I weigh around 165 pounds, have a a decent amount of muscle and feel better than ever about where my body is and what it can accomplish! I’m happy at this weight, which is bizarre, because according to the charts, I’m overweight (with a BMI of 26.6), but weight and BMI can only tell you so much. So I’ve released the power that number held over me. It would be great to lose a couple pounds just to ensure the long-term health of my knee, but I’m no longer obsessing about the number, and I’m embracing myself as I am. My weight still fluctuates (I’ve gained and lost countless pounds), but I’m more focused on how I actually feel and how far I’ve come. I’ve even embraced the athlete moniker, which has made my workouts more effective.

Weight gain happens and weight loss is hard work, so don’t give up or feel defeated if you are struggling: You’ve got this and you are not alone.

I can’t wait to hear from you. Have you ever looked up and suddenly gained more weight than you anticipated? What was your wakeup call? What did you do? And what are your tips for staying on track?


Better Than Ever

We all strive for wellness and to live better! Every month, this column will bring you advice on how to feel and perform Better Than Ever. Check out tips to improve various aspects of your health: Everything from fitness, nutrition, sleep and recovery. Have a topic you want to hear about? Feel free to reach out here (I’ll be checking the comments!) or on Twitter or Instagram. I look forward to hearing from you!


 

Related

  • Amy Carson

    I gained a lot of weight over the years after having two kids. My youngest is now 14 and I didn’t have any excuses as to why I’d gained 70 pounds since getting pregnant with her. I’ve now lost 17 lbs with help from My Fitness Pal, Fitbit and my husband, who’s also down 20 lbs. I have a long way to go (another 38 lbs, to start) but I also have intermediate weight goals as well as workout goals. For the first time in years I also have hope and a ton of motivation. Your article is just another thing that helps reinforce my direction. I can appreciate your struggles and not beat myself up over difficult days. Thank you.

    • Kirby

      Fantastic Amy! Congrats on losing 17lbs. I love that your husband has joined you in your weight loss too- so helpful to hold each other accountable! So glad that this column helped to reinforce your already impressive progress! MFP is here to support you as you reach for your health goals. And finally, you are exactly right- Don’t beat yourself up!

  • Faye Suya

    This is a really nice and positive article!
    I’ve recently gained weight from taking antidepressants and it’s a real struggle to get that off again when your emotions and medication works against you.
    I changed so much in my life from eating habits to sports to lifestyle and nothing had any effect. So I know how frustrating it can be, that on top of a mood disorder, even.
    But I had great support from my family and psychiatrist. We’re looking for other medication options and now my body slowly realises that all this healthy stuff should actually make it shed some pounds. I learned to notice the small things and every success improves my mood and fuels my willpower.
    I’ve been way down at the bottom but now that I learned to take small steps and celebrate them I’m working my way up. One baby step at a time – but they’re baby steps in the right direction.
    I just want to say: It’s possible. You have every right to be proud of each little step forward, no matter how little it is. Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.
    And every once in a while there will be a fight lost, a step backwards, but that doesn’t make you lose the battle. You’ll win that. One baby step at a time. 🙂

    • Kirby

      Hey Faye- Thanks for the note! Yes, a mood disorder and medication adds even more additional challenges on top of the already difficult work of weight loss! Best of luck in finding the right medication that works for your body…glad you have great support from your family and psychiatrist- that’s key! I totally agree, each time you have some progress, especially the baby steps, it’s so motivating! Whenever you have a setback, just remind yourself of everything you’ve accomplished! Thanks for taking the time to share your story

  • Pooja

    Thank you so much for writing this!!! I lost ~60 pounds over the last two years and was thrilled to go into maintenance in January. Unfortunately, a slew of health issues this month have led to a good amount of stress eating, and I’ve put 5 pounds back on.

    Even though it doesn’t seem like a big number, it’s been pretty hard to find the right mindset – one where I can forgive myself/not stress out about my past choices and get creative about achieving my goals with new health constraints.

    It helped so much to hear your story and advice and be reminded that I’m not alone out here and that this is possible!! Thank you so much for writing this!!

    • Wendy

      I think you hit home with me with the word forgive. I beat myself up so often for losing control. Thank for putting this life time journey into perspective

    • Kirby

      Hey Pooja- Thanks for taking the time to tell your journey. YES to forgiveness (which is often the hardest part)! And wow- 60lbs! Let’s celebrate that! Even with a 5lb gain, that’s still 55lbs down…as you work to get those final lbs (which are often the HARDEST to lose), just think about how far you’ve come! and yes, you are not alone! I truly appreciate all these comments because we are motivating each other- I love it!

  • Abbey

    Thank you! I’ve just recently started la weight loss journey, and this helped motivate me.
    Right now, it’s like I’ve lost control. I’m 5’7 and almost 200 lbs, the heaviest I’ve ever been. These tips definitely will help me in the long run.

    • Kirby

      Hey Abbey- So glad these tips are helpful. Feel free to bookmark the column and come back on those hard days when you need a little motivation. It’s about a lifestyle change, which takes time, so glad you recognize the importance of focusing on the long term. For me, when I actually started making changes, I was able to stop shaming myself for allowing myself to gain weight…I was then able to move forward and the hopelessness started to disappear. You can get there! It’s tough, but you have to start. So glad you are a part of the MFP community and that you took the time to comment! Really appreciate it.

  • Natalie

    This article came at the exact right time for me! I’ve gained 50 pounds over the last few years, and still 20lbs over my pre pregnacy weight at 7 months post partum. I feel sooo embarrassed and overwhelmed as to where to even start. I finally talked to my Dr recently so I feel more accountable to someone. Thank you for reminding me that it happens, it’s normal, and it’s not hopeless!

    • Kirby

      Hey Natalie-
      So glad this came at the right time for you! I know what you mean about the embarrassment…YES, weight gain happens. I’ve gained, I’ve lost, I’ve regained, I’ve lost and so on and so on….anyone who’s struggled with weight knows…but the hardest part is to not feel hopeless. Congrats on taking the big first step to talk to someone about it, so great you were able to talk to your doctor. Now it’s time to take action and move forward. Thrilled you were able to take some encouragement from this column- thanks for sharing your story and motivating others too!

  • Vanessa Tyra

    My wake up call was when my fourteen year old daughter got on the scale at the doctor and did not like her weight. I’ve said for the past few years that I was fat and happy, but then it got to the point where I wasn’t. I was depressed, had high blood pressure, and my chest hurt. I didn’t have medical insurance, and I didn’t want to get on medication anyway. I wanted to be here for when my kids have kids, and I wanted to set an example for my daughter. I’ve been doing MyFitnessPal since October, and I’ve lost 40 pounds so far. I still have 40 to go. At first, I didn’t think about how I needed to lose 80 pounds. If I would’ve actually thought about that huge number, I don’t think I would have ever started. And this time, I’m trying to change my lifestyle, so I can get a hold of my health. I’ve got too much to live for. Oh, and my daughter has lost, too. I’m glad to see this article and that others have posted. I hope someone is encouraged by this.

    • Kirby

      Hey Vanessa-
      Thank you so much for sharing this! You are talking about something that is so interesting and critical…a mother daughter relationship and how weight plays into that. It’s just so COMPLICATED. I teared up thinking about how the two of you have started working on your health together- that’s just fantastic! It’s a process and I’m so glad you two can be there to support each other when you hit setbacks and celebrate the successes.

      40lbs down is incredible, so so thrilled that MFP has helped you to hit these milestones. We are here for you now and as you continue to crush your goals- nice work! Thanks for encouraging other MFPers with your story!

  • Melissa

    Omg I needed this right now! I’m no stranger to weight loss and the trials it brings. I have been heavy my whole life and lost 80 lbs almost 10 years ago. I even celebrated that victory with a tummy tuck. Then I got remarried and had 2 kids in 3 years and am sitting here with 60 lbs to lose. I guess my breaking point is/was being 3 months post partum and still only able to fit in maternity clothes lol. But here I am back on track and feeling great about getting healthy again! It’s so easy for the weight to creep back on and I KNOW how damn hard it is to lose it. But I tell myself if I’ve done it before I sure can do it again. Good luck to everyone else out there xoxoxo

    • Kirby

      Hey Melissa-
      So glad this column came across your screen when you needed it! So true, if you’ve done it before you can do it again! Congrats on your numerous victories- that’s the best way to look at it. Yes, that creep is REAL…thanks for motivating us and sharing your story too!

  • meggers

    i love reminders that it’s ok to be human! 2 years ago i used MFP & worked my butt off to lose 42lbs. i maintained within 5lbs of that for over a year, up until 4 months ago. i was hit with a death in the family, TWO miserable colds and a general winter malase. not exercising as much but still eating the same (and ok, a lot of binge eating sessions), my clothes got a little tighter each week until i woke up the other day with 13lbs packed on! it felt like a witch waved a magic fat wand over me in the middle of the night. it’s not SO much, but after working so hard to lose it gaining ANY of it back feels like a failure, like i wasn’t “strong enough” to keep it off. i refuse to spiral, though. i’m back on the horse, ready to do the work once again. because it’s worth it. *i’m* worth it.

    • Kirby

      Hey Meggers-
      I cannot stop laughing about your “witch waved a magic fat wand” comment…I think this might be my favorite comment of all time. HILARIOUS. And that feeling is so darn true. YES- we are all human and sometimes we fail and that’s ok. Melissa’s comment below is a great reminder- remind yourself that you’ve lost the weight before and you can do it again. Thrilled to hear that MFP has helped you- way to focus on the road ahead and not the past. You’ve got this and yes, you are SO worth it.

  • Lisa

    This article is perfect. 3 years ago I was not in the best shape, but quit smoking and ended up gaining more weight – the only time I ever thought weight gain was “worth it” About 6 months after quitting smoking I weighed more than I ever had and knew I needed to make some changes. I wore a fit bit, traked my food and worked out 5-6 days a week. Weight slid off me and I felt amazing….until my birthday….everything slowly fell off and over the next 1 1/2 years, slowly gained weight. I weighed even more than I did after quitting smoking. February 1st of this year I started back again. Tracking my food, making smart choices and getting cardio in at least 3 days a week. I’m losing 2 lbs a week and feel healthy. I have so far to go, but don’t want to anything more extreme because I know I can’t keep it up long term. This is the healthiest way for me to do things. I know I should lose 50 lbs- I also know I can’t say that to people because I “hold my weight well” and no one thinks I should lose that much. I’ve come to realize it is about doing what’s best for me. Thank you for this article. Really hit home.

    • Kirby

      Hey Lisa-
      First of all, congrats on quitting smoking! Second, congrats on figuring out how to make nutrition and exercise a lifestyle change and NOT an extreme diet that’s unsustainable. You’ve found your groove, which is so exciting! We all have setbacks, so when it happens again, just know you’ve got it, because you’ve done it before! Thanks for the kind words (and taking the time to post a reply)!

  • Sarah

    Exactly what I needed to hear! 5 years ago after having 2 children (back to back) and going through a divorce, I worked really hard to lose the weight. I lost 35 lbs. I was 145 lbs for the for the first time ever and in single digit clothes sizes. But beginning last year, a few lbs crept on every month. My lifestyle had changed and i was a new relationship. I told myself it would stop and level out. It didn’t stop. I wasn’t working out and binge eating. I stopped wearing my jeans, and stuck to the leggings. I stopped getting on the scale too. I was ashamed. I even stopped looking at myself in the mirror when undressing. I was disgusted with my body. Last week I finally weighed myself and I had gained 25lbs. I said ENOUGH! I went back to the gym and started tracking. I still feel angry with myself for having to see those numbers on the scale, but this article and comments made me feel like I’m not the only one. Thank you. I’m going to stop shaming myself, and just be focused on the small victorys. I’ve already lost 2 lbs!

    • Kirby

      Hey Sarah-
      Thanks so much for the note. O man, I know that combo of NO exercise and binge eating…the results are brutal. Congrats on getting back on your routine and thrilled to hear you are seeing results already! You are right, it’s all about focusing on the small victories. Well done and congrats. Feel free to bookmark this page and come back on days you need a little motivation. Might be helpful to read your own comment: “I’m going to stop shaming myself, and just be focused on the small victories”- that’s a powerful statement!

  • smaktcat

    Ug, I needed this. Never had a weight problems before. But after a full hysterectomy thst has taken 18 months to to properly heal from & a back injury that was exacerbated by the surgery, my excersize and energy level has plummeted, but but my constant, insatiable hunger has abated in the least.

    I have got to get these extra lbs off!

    • Kirby

      hey Smaktcat-
      18 months is a long time to be out…but it sounds like you are in a better place physically than when you were just a few months ago. Focus on the progress you’ve made in healing and do what you can. You might not run a marathon, but check in with your doctor or physical therapist and see what exercises you can do at home. They may also have creative cardio ideas for you too- I know I loved doing water aerobics when I was unable to do the elliptical. It was great to have a no impact option. But be sure to check in with the pros first! Thanks for spending time on the blog and sharing your story with the MFP community!

  • flyingcircusgirl

    Perfect timing! Three years ago, I started running using Runkeeper, eating healthier & tracking my food with MyFitnessPal. I wasn’t extremely overweight but was carrying about 25 extra pounds in my belly & thighs. I lost some weight, gained muscle & got to where I was running 3 miles almost every day in under a 12 min/mile pace. I was getting toned & feeling good about myself.

    Then I got sick, had some emotional issues in my job & personal life get the better of me, got out of my routine & just couldn’t get motivated to start exercising again. Even though I continued to watch my food, I gained back the weight. I turned 50 a few months ago. I don’t want to hear that I look good “for my age”. I want to hear that I look good PERIOD!

    I’ve decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and angry at myself. I started working out with Jessica Smith walking videos on You Tube until I can get back to running outside.

    This article and all the comments helped me realize I’m not alone. I don’t have much of a support group in my life so Thank You all for sharing this journey with me!

    • Kirby

      Hey flyingcircusgirl-
      Thanks for the nice words! So glad MFP has helped you in your health and fitness goals…but then, life happened, I know how seemingly fast that can happen. Way to get back in the game and starting out with walking and working your way towards running! And yes, you are NOT alone, just look at these comments and words of wisdom and motivation from everyone who’s right there with you! We can help each other! Thanks for taking the time to share your story too, I’m sure it’s provided some relief to a fellow MFPer who’s going through the struggle too. Thanks for contributing!

  • Judith Brymer

    Thank you for this article. From Jan to Sep, I lost 50 pounds. I workout regularly and have never stopped but starting with the Fall, I have gained almost 10 pounds back. I am distraught because I can’t seem to stop eating. I am not really sure if it’s emotional or that a little but of sugar leads to an addiction where I crave it. Anyway, I appreciate your article, especially where you stated “Weight gain happens and weight loss is hard work, so don’t give up or feel defeated if you are struggling: you’ve got this and you are not alone.” It reminded me that this is not something that only I am going through and this makes me feel less apt to beat myself up about it. My logging has definitely taken a hit lately so that’s my small goal for now. To plan and log my food for this week. I wish everyone that is struggling the best of luck in getting back on track.

    • Kirby

      Hey Judith!
      Way to set a small goal. Since you know meal planning and logging worked well for you, I love that you are going to pick back up where you left off! You did it before and you can do it again! But also take a moment to celebrate you are down 40lbs from where you originally started- that is HUGE! Gain is frustrating, but you can get back on track and you already know how. Thanks for giving other MFP users a little pep talk and well wishes too! Just awesome

  • I agree that setting goals and tracking daily food & exercise is the best way to start. I also find it’s vital to keep myself accountable with an online support group.

    • Kirby

      Hey Robin-
      Thanks for taking the time to share what works for you- we can all learn from each other! Yes, accountability is super helpful, so glad you’ve found a group that works for you!

      PS- I love your Robin’s egg image…I see what you did there…lol

  • Kimberly OC

    I needed this today. I’ve been slowly losing weight and felt great. Then I hit a giant wall…. of jellybeans. In the past six months I have indulged occasionally but simply added the treat into my daily calorie count. But then came the jellybeans. Let’s just say bags have been consumed. Your comment about letting go of guilt and moving on helped. Truly. Thank you.

    • Kirby

      Hey Kimberly-
      LOL at “a giant wall of jellybeans”…that’s happened to me too, in the form of jellybeans, french fries, thin mints, oreos, Krispy Kremes (obvi), M&Ms and the list goes on. It took a while to get there, but I finally had to tell myself- “What’s done is done”. I wasn’t proud of it, but I couldn’t erase it, so there was no point in shaming myself. Congrats on beginning to let go of the guilt and focus on what you are going to do moving forward! And thanks for sharing- I’m sure your comments resonated with more than just me!

  • Savannah

    Great article! I sought the help of a therapist and nutritionist. Thats what finally made me feel that I can do this! Realizing you cant do it alone is crushing at first, then empowering. Once I reached out to friends and family and shared emotional highs and lows, tips and recipies, I finally got the confidence to do it. I am on my way and eveyone reading this can do the same!
    Thanks!

    • Kirby

      Thanks Savannah!
      I love that you had already employed a few of the tips and found they worked for you! Congrats on feeling empowered, it’s extremely exciting that you were able to appreciate that this experience (as HARD as it was) made you stronger. And HUGE thanks for cheerleading other MFP users!

  • Deesha

    Thank you for writing this and sharing your story. I am in the same boat as your friend but committed to health. Someone mentioned the word forgiveness and I agree. Best of luck to everyone. We got this.

    • Kirby

      Hey Deesha!
      Yes, you know the struggle is real! Yes, forgiveness is critical to moving forward. Thanks for taking the time to motivate other MFPers- we are in this together and we got this!

  • eric

    I really needed this. Thanks!

    • Kirby

      Hey Eric-
      Thanks for the note! So glad to hear that you got this column at the right time in your journey! AND huge thanks for not only reading, but taking the time to comment.

      • Bella

        Thank you, I needed it as well. I have many injuries & have been gaining lots of weight. My dog is hurt now & can’t go for our usual walks either. It’s so depressing. My hair is falls out & my toenails are falling off. No doctor can figure it out. Tracy Anderson has been the exercise I have lost weight with before. I’m struggling with it bc of all my health problems. Not sure what to do. Getting back into MFPal which helped so much in the past. And what is a day of eating & exercise for you? You aren’t a doctor I know, but am really wondering what you think to get me back on track. Thank you!!

  • Blair

    Love the article and comments! I also unknowingly gained 15 pounds and freaked out when I saw the number. Taking baby steps has been the best advice into getting back into a healthy lifestyle. Using my fitness pal and starting back slowly has worked best for me!

    • Kirby

      Hey Blair-
      I know, the comments are my favorite part! I so appreciate everyone taking the time to provide feedback and tips and motivation for other MFPers. Such a fantastic community! To your comment, that moment when you get on the scale and the number is so high that you have a freak out, is terrifying. Way to take baby steps towards progress instead of giving up. So glad MFP has helped you! Thanks for taking the time to share your experience!

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  • Laura peck

    I really liked this article and it was particularly insightful for me. Five years ago I set out to finally loose a significant amount of weight. I lost 180 lbs and have kept the major off for three years. I have recently gained about 20 back so three days ago I revamped my eating plan and got more focused on my exercise. I have been obese my whole adult life and know I will never have the body I would like because of excess skin but at 55 I am healthier than I was at 20 and proud of what I have accomplished. I am working on being happier with my body image and am focused on loosing 40 more lbs.

    • CEO of Facebook!, is advising people to get started with “Work at home” practice, that I have already been doing more than a year now. These days only, I generated around $36k till now with nothing but my home computer and some leisure time, however i have a fulltime nine to 5 job. Even most people new to this, can earn $50/per h successfully and the gains can go even very high over a period of time… This is how i started >> http://urlfat­.­com/4C4

    • Kirby

      Hey Laura-
      Wow- 180lbs is incredible and must have taken A LOT of hard work! Focus on your progress so far to help you accomplish your goals. You’ve already done so much! Yes to being happier with your body image- don’t forget to celebrate all you’ve already done, you feel healthier now than you did at 20! That’s huge! Personally, I became much happier and successful at achieving my goals when I focused on how my body felt and the progress I had made, than when I was focused on that number. Thanks for sharing your story- great work!

  • Felecia Watkins

    I am loving this article!

    • Kirby

      Hey Felecia! Thanks for taking the time to read AND comment!

  • Kirby

    Hey Amy-
    Thanks for taking the time to write. I know all about that slow creep…you are right- it is dangerous! I’m so glad you’ve found what works best for you: daily logging, regular exercise and blogging- awesome! That guilt and disappointment can get pretty strong, so way to not give up and remain active. Nice job and way to stick with it! Thanks for inspiring other MFPers!

  • Tan

    What a great article!
    This has very recently happened to me. I have gained 30lbs since November last year. Two weeks ago I saw myself hit 206lbs on the scales, when I said I would never go over 200lbs again. So I’ve put myself on a mostly plant based diet. My reasons being it removes the luxury of choice when eating- I literally can’t have everything on the menu, i reduce my impact on animal suffering (I am eating the odd bit of cheese or free-range eggs), it’s hard to really go over my calorie limit, I can’t eat Haribo and tonnes of chocolates and most importantly I am exploring the massive range of vegetables, grains, fruits and pulses available to me and loving them!

    I have lost 9lb in two weeks and will continue on this diet. One thing in your article that I strongly agree with is thinking about the 5lbs you can lose in a month rather than the total weight. I’ve reset my MFP goals to smaller amounts I know I attain in a month.

    Thank you for sharing this article!

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    • Kirby

      Hey Tan-
      Thanks! Well done cutting out the candy and chocolate! I’m a big snacker too…I found that when I started keeping apples and clementines at my desk I actually started to crave them in the afternoon instead of junk because I’d think about how it made me feel an hour later. Don’t get me wrong, I still love a lil treat now and then, but it’s no longer my go-to afternoon snack! Congrats on creating a plan that’s working for you and way to focus on your smaller goals within the app to ensure they are motivational! So glad this helped and thanks for sharing your story and tips! And way to stay positive!
      Ps- I do want to encourage you to ensure you think about your protein intake as you embark on this plant based diet- a few of my friends that became vegetarian definitely had to focus on their sources of protein when they were first starting out on that lifestyle change.

      • Karen Ensley

        Thx I love the idea of apples and clementines….suvar is my downfall.

    • Jude Pilsworth

      Xx

  • Joyce Nieto

    Great article and great timing. Yesterday at work I was feeling depressed because I gained so much weight. I lost 13lbs around December and I noticed that I have gain those pounds back and some more. I need to lose 50lbs in all. I am starting to go to the gym along with watching what I eat. Instead of focusing on the 50lbs that I would like to lose I am going to focus on being consistent and enjoying this new way of life for me. Thanks!

    • Cody Jean Hargrave Arvidson

      Yay!! The gym has a culture of its own and you can meet people who you see there regularly! They form a great support network!

  • Rudy Lienau

    This article crossed my screen at just the right time. I lost over 50 pounds and was successful keeping it off until about 6 months ago. I fell off the work-out wagon. I’ve gained back 16 pounds and am on my way back, slowly. Thanks for the advice.

    • Cody Jean Hargrave Arvidson

      I feel the struggle! I was roller skating more than 2 days a week for years, then a pair of defective skates–without any support from the vendor for the problem–let me down the dark hole of less activity. I’ve been working to get it back together for about 6-9 months now–at least I haven’t gained anymore, again. I am all about muscles and showing that I can lift more than people expect, just based on my body appearance alone! LOL

  • Anne Mason

    Great article. I lost over 140 lbs. since August 2014; however, I’ve gained some back since November. I work out at the local Sr. Center a few times per week with a mix of cardio, strength training, and yoga. Since the end of Jan ’17, I have lost my control over carbs/sugar. The point of no return happened on January 18th when my brother-in-law took his own life. I’m struggling to get back on track because I never want to weigh I did before starting this journey. Thank you for helping to motivate me to keep trying. I know it’s true, but sometimes you have to hear it from someone else to have it sink in. Keep fighting the good fight everyone! Never give up! ; )

  • MsKitty

    Cup of ice cream…If Only! LOL I’ve gained back 20 of the 40 lbs I lost last year but I’m getting back on track, too. The cup of ice cream just made me giggle. Great article!

  • Kate

    Great article! I am at this point right now!!! Had back surgery in November of last year. It is a slow process for my back but I have been ahead of the curve on recovery, movement and exercising before and after surgery. I can walk, elliptical, recumbant bike, use 3 upper body weight machines and have physical therapy once a week now, down from two. It is a struggle to get back down to 140-150 from 168-170. I can’t go all out at the gym yet and press my back doctor and surgeon about activity and what more I can do without risking all the work and discipline I have put into all of this to this point. And on top of it, bathing suit season is right around the corner. It’s really difficult, especially when you don’t see numbers going down. I guess its a good thing the numbers aren’t climbing. I am taking all the comments in and will continue to work. Thanks for this particular subject and discussion!!!

  • Joan Magee

    This is a great article, telling exactly how it happens, and that it can happen to anyone. I am an RD, and I can’t think of better counseling. OK, it happened, let’s start with a little change today! Bravo!

  • Brian Smith

    I really needed to see this article at this time. I am trying to revamp my eating habits but it is hard since I’m traveling in and out of an airport 4-5 days a week. While I’m home I plan out my meals and have the ability to plan ahead, but when on the road and you get to a hotel at 10pm or later it is tough. I have been trying to make haelthier choices in airports but the pickings are slim.

    Here’s to getting this 30lbs off.

  • Cody Jean Hargrave Arvidson

    Let’s take BMI out of the the individual level because it doesn’t belong there, as any MPH should know. Let’s go with body fat % instead. The scale is my enemy but shifting my body fat is easier. I weigh too much at 190 and 5ft5in, but even my doctor is always shocked that my body fat % is about 30%, way lower than he expects it to be based on my BMI alone. Back in 2005, my body fat was higher, nearly 40%, and I weighed about 165-170! I always say, I have muscles hiding in here because the struggle with weight is real even though I am in better shape than a lot of thinner people with lower BMI!

  • Daughterofthe King

    Oh wow this article is such an inspiration, today i didn’t feel like working out but i got up and went on my walk and jogged a little bit. I just came back and read this article and im like hey, right on time. I will take quite a few tips from this. One of my major blocks is not always having money to buy healthier goods but thats ok because I’ll do what i can and keep going. Thanks for this article.

  • MJ Marti

    Great piece! I think this article may just be the wake-up call I was looking for. I’ve been trying to lose weight for a couple of years now, but nothing seems to work. I might have to make a dr. appt. and make sure I don’t have something else holding me back from the weight loss. I workout, I eat pretty decently, I think and each time I step on the scale the numbers seem to keep going up, not down. 🙁 I remember when I first moved to FL in 2008, I weighed 135-140lbs. I weighed myself a couple of days ago and I’m at 175!!! :'( I think I really do need help.

    • Breana Fejes

      I totally know where you’re coming from this time last year I was weighing 145 and I’m now at 165…. about to get married and move across country (Alaska to Colorado) I needed this article I keep pulling this I’ll start next Monday and I keep putting on weight. I’ve got faith in you girl! You can do it!

      • MJ Marti

        Thank you! Sometimes I honestly just feel like crying, but I know that won’t help me lose the weight. So I know I just need to suck it up and keep pushing forward. 😉

        • Breana Fejes

          Let yourself cry! Sometimes we’ve gotta feel
          Completely defeated before we can take that first step. Know that once the tears dry the best way to get happy is to go for a lil bike ride, the endorphins will come rushing back and will become addicting, not nearly as addicting as a bowl of ice cream but almost as delightful! I’ve got faith in you woman you can do it! I’m actually starting to go to the gym today after reading this. It’s a Monday aka perfect day to start a change. 😉 holla if you need someone to chat with about choices and if ya ever need motivation

          • MJ Marti

            Thank you so much for your words! I will def keep you in mind. 🙂
            I’m here for you too, if you need motivation. We can push each other.

  • Minister

    I’m a former D1 athlete, 42, discouraged by weight gain and a chronic back problem. Thanks for this post. It’s inspiring!

  • Carly

    Yes! As a woman approaching 40 it is sometimes scary how quickly 5 lbs can come on. Five can turn into 10, then 15… And it used to be much easier to get them off, let me tell you!
    I think adopting the philosophy of – it took me a few months to gain this weight, it will probably take a few months to lose it, just like pregnancy weight as they say.
    I just started to eliminate gluten, which kind of throw you for a loop for a bit. Flailing and not quite knowing how to meal plan and make satisfying food for the whole family while respecting my own bodily needs. It’s going to take a month or two to get the hang of it but I’ll get there!

    • Don Reitsma

      Not so hard with the family. Gluten is a red herring for weight loss but you’re close! Eat what they eat except if it wheat, potato, rice or sugar. Stay away from root veg. No processed food. Read the label! Shop around the outside of the supermarket!

  • Rebecca Epp

    Excellent article! I literally dragged my 50lb overweight butt into my Dr.’s office and said “help!!!” He listened, gave me homework specifically to track my food (program of my choice) and set me up with a therapist to discuss some ongoing mental/depression struggles r/t food/weight. I’ve been struggling post-baby for 2.5 years. I’m 1.5 weeks in track and 3 lbs down. Already feeling the increase in energy. I have to check in with him every 6 weeks and I think this accountability is the push I needed. That and starting the minute I left his office instead of falling into the “last meal” cycle I was stuck in. Great advice! Encouraging to see I’m starting to do many of the same things.

  • Modish Isaac

    Hi Kirby,
    Thanks for the great tips. It is so much more realistic to say I will lose 5 pounds at a time. Less stress.
    I have just started back doing boot camp and what a great feeling.

  • Smitty Werbenjagermanjensen

    So I sort of had a rude awakening myself. I was doing very well and looked/felt good around 6 foot/250lbs and 20% body fat. I legit have a wide frame and I’m big boned so I carried it well (played defensive line in high school and I’ve always been big since I was a teen). I Was boxing, running, lifting, etc. I sort of lost motivation after that and ballooned up to 285lbs over the course of a year. Part of the issue is I’ve always ate like a lineman, and that applied even when I wasn’t training like one. A bad habit I still haven’t broken 10 years after graduating lol..

    Avoiding alcohol helps too due to the amount of empty carbs, and I eat alot more when I am buzzed or drunk.

    I’ve been at worse though (315lbs was embarassing) But I want to get back on track. I haven’t been lifting/working out as much due to injuries (Lower back injury from something as stupid as slipping on ice, and tweaking my RC from over doing things) but eating the right foods is the best place to start.

    There is that saying that abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym. This also applies to losing body fat; working out however will speed things up. Gradually working your way back into it will help.

    If you are overweight odds are your hormones will make it a struggle, but once you get going again testosterone levels should rise (atleast in guys) and will help with energy levels and overall fat loss.

    I should probably go for a check up though. Last time I went my testosterone levels were borderline which makes it an uphill battle. I kind of felt like I wanted to avoid actual medicine since exercise and a healthy diet can boost test levels.

    • Carmen8

      Regarding your skeletal/ligament injuries, you may help your body heal quicker by “eating what ails you”.
      Make a crockpot soup with “less desirable”, tough cuts of meat. Throw in some bones or a ham hock for the marrow and minerals.
      I’m no doctor, but I have gone through some health issues and physical ailments related to wheat intolerance (joints that popped for 20 years, eczema, tendonitis in the thumb and Achilles, Graves disease).
      The advice to eat what ails you makes sense- your body can more easily synthesize what it needs when you give it what it’s lacking. This becomes a heck of a lot more apparent after 30, doesn’t it! (I’m 37, and I wish someone had given me this advice 8 years ago!!!)
      Heart for heart health, liver for liver health, tendons (think chicken wings and drumsticks) for tendon health.
      Good luck!

  • Vnus5

    Accepting myself as I am has been difficult, but this piece is so encouraging. I am using the Fitness Pal app to log meals and exercise, so I know I’m not crazy. I’m 47 and started suffering from horrid migraines after I had my son 11 years ago. I also couldn’t lose the last 2 sizes of baby weight. (I do not own scale.) The power yoga I was doing was triggering migraines, so I had to stop. After many doctors and nutritionists, ayurveda, etc, my medications, herbs, and bioidentical hormones made me gain about 20 pounds, I’m guessing. I went from a size 6 to a 12, and I’m dieting just to not gain more. I walk 2 miles a day and do what yoga stretches I can. The good news is that the headaches are a lot better. The bad is that I can’t lose any weight. Sometimes you just have to take health and wellbeing over your ideal size, and count your blessings.

    • Angel Lasky

      I’m 46 and I’m struggling terribly! But I did stop working out and I’m not eating right at all! Maybe we need to just focus on what we eat.. idk..
      I do know, once it gets warm out I will start walking again.
      Have you thought about walking longer then 2 miles? 4 miles is only about an hour..

      • Vnus5

        I suppose I could try on the days my schedule allows. I’m constrained by school drop-off time. I’ll start swimming soon, too, as it’s already 85 degrees here in the South. None of the exercise ever affects my weight, tho.

        • Mama Duke

          You need to change things up, shock your body a little. Walk up a hill, wear ankle weights? Your body gets accustomed to everyday activities,as well as diet.

    • Don Reitsma

      Hormones are tough, especially because your body wanst to add weight during pregnancy. If you’re using MyFitnessPal, set it up to have a goal of losing 2 pounds per week. Macronutrients with a maximum of 10% carbohydrates, 30% protein and the rest will be fat of course.

  • Cristian Coliselli

    Hi guys, I’m a male 41 years old, always been active but not constantly, a lot of ups and downs. My weight is always moving from 92 to 106 kg for the last 25 years. I’m 198 cm. I’m a boarderline on sport, diet etc. etc. I can train for 3 hours a day for months and then sitting on the couch for many other months. I can eat very healty with a plant base diet, not sugar intakes for months and then moving to eat junk food and sweets as much as I can. My body shape change from fit look to not really fit with some belly fat, actually I do not like it at all and I find this very unhealty. In the last 6 years I’ve practiced meditation and yoga very intensively and I became a yoga teacher as well, even if my life changed , the swinging of diet and weight is still the same. I did not find the way to change this situation but three years ago I’ve started a meditation practice to do every day ( 11 minutes) and I promise myself to don’t touch alcohol and pot ( previous habits hard to leave behind), three years time actually will finished next May. I can tell you after two years and half ( maybe earlier) I’ve felt completely the detachment from both habits, never had anymore the desire, not even a dream about them, completely free and clean! This is very interesting if you consider to apply this method on any unwanted habits. The theory of this process is to create a new habit to erase an old habit! I’m so enthusiastic to share this with all of you. Five months ago to celebrate my result and for the efforts I made I’ve decided to start a new three years plan( my weight was 102 kg and not really fit): to do one hour of sport everyday ( 7 hours a week, it does not mean every day, the important is the monthly count of 30/31 hours) and to reduce the calories intake eating mostly healty food with a lot of veggies, allowing sometimes few treats ( twice a week but to stay within my calories requirement). In 5 months I’ve lost 7 kg, my body looks much better and fitter and I feel quite good. I’m just at the beginning of this experience but I’m looking forward with a positive attitude because I trust this process, for me it worked!! I wish it could inspire somebody else. Thanks

  • 1AlyceL22

    I had reconstruction surgery on my right foot, last Summer. I couldn’t put any weight on the foot for 9 weeks. I found a workout from a personal trainer who had a broken ankle, but I was lazy and never did it! I was fine until about the 8th week, then I started gaining weight. According to a newsletter from my gym, this is EXACTLY when your metabolism starts to falter! I’ve gradually rehabilitated and stopped the weight gain, but now I want to lose the weight–it’s either that or buy a lot of new clothes! So I was glad to read your blog–it’s very encouraging! And it’s Spring, so it’s much easier to get outside and enjoy exercising!

  • valerie duda

    Thanks!

  • Paula Caracappa

    Great article! I weighed 135-140 for decades and wore a size 6, lots of bike riding, yoga, running, health club. At about age 54 several things led to a big weight gain: broke my foot, so no bike riding or running; I started my own business, so no time for yoga or the health club and lots of business-related stress soothed by eating. Oh! And don’t forget menopause! So I got up to about 195, sixty pounds of my “normal” weight. Not normal for me any more!

    I have tried every sort of eating plan: Paleo, smoothies, salads, etc. but it was always so easy to loose a few pounds and then “treat” myself to ice cream or pizza, or whatever — and after a few days in a row,, I was back to pretty much where I started.

    The only thing I have done that works for me is juicing. I am down to 169 — a 26 pound loss. I want to lose another 29 pounds. My plan is to juice during the week with the exception of meals out, when I will do veggies and protein. On the weekends I am a little easier with myself — not going crazy, but allowing myself the occasional dessert or carb.

    I too do little goals of 5 lbs. My current goal is 165. I’ll tune back in when I get there!

    • Cindy

      This is encouraging for me! I lost 40 pounds a couple years ago, but when peri-menopause set it, I have gained back 20 of the pounds I lost. I keep trying different things, but nothing seems to work. I like your plan of juicing during the week. I’m going to give that a try. That will also give me a chance to use my new juicer I just bought last weekend. Thanks for the idea!

    • MB

      The article was great Kirby–thanks! …and Thanks for sharing your story Paula – I’m kind of in the same boat. Can you reply with some details or perhaps a website on how juicing works? I’d
      like to try it!

  • Iv

    I have always struggled. Only time I’ve been small was in college when i went vegetarian for 9 months. So, my wake-up call was the magic 2xx… when my husband ( heart attack survivor at 51) called to say he had to go vegan or else. That call was it.! I’ve Benn vegan for 2.5 months, working out add feeling great and 20 pounds down!! I have very specific goals until my 40something bday in October. I’m on track and happier than I’ve been inn a long time!!!

  • Jan Buess

    I kept seeing my weight creeping up and at 5’6″, 167 lbs was my turning point. I was on my 12th run of p90x and worked out at home. What I didn’t realize was the amount of carbs I was eating. I joined the gym but still couldn’t get that weight off. Worked so hard and was at the gym every day but it was my diet and a fabulous trainer that turned it around. We had a weight loss challenge and I am very competitive. For $199 6 week program , trainer 2 times a week. He set me up with My Fitness Pal and that changed my life. Wow, was I really eating the carbs! I love that app aND combined with kicking my but at training, not drinking during the week, and watching the diet on the app, I lost 17 lbs and 15 inches in 6 weeks. I thought I was in shape! 100 grams of carbs will do that to you and I am forever great full to my trainer and the great group at my gym.

    • Angel Lasky

      So carb calculator on MY FITNESS PAL is accurate to the amount of carbs allowed?

      • Jasper Morrow

        You can set custom set your daily carb allowance to your specific needs rather than relying on the standard settings

    • Kirby

      Hey Jan! Thanks for taking the time to write and sharing how tracking on MFP, in addition to changing up your workout routine allowed you to reach your goals! Very inspiring and exciting- I can hear your enthusiasm as I read your words! Love it

  • Sarah Tissot

    Very comforting article, and right to the point. I was also an athlete and competed in tournament, when I met my now husband. At 5′ 6”, I weighed 130 lbs of lean muscle (and just like the writer, still foolishly thought I should lose a couple more pounds instead of enjoying my athletic shape) This being said, I was single and able to dedicate a good 3 hours to working out every day (weights in the morning at the gym and team practice on most evenings), able to sleep at least 7 hours a night and did not drink or eat out much.
    Meeting my husband was the most amazing thing, but I did not foresee that changing my routine to accommodate another person would translate into a gain of 70 lbs 7 years down the road. Of course, I saw it happen and tried to rectify the course, diet, work out harder, but the truth is my new lifestyle and the influence of another person (who does not need to diet or work out to stay in perfect shape!!!!) does not help. And the truth is, we both work hard and enjoy each other’s company in the evening, so I don’t go to bed at 9pm anymore, and I naturally do not have time for the commitment of tournaments and lengthy workouts. We love our time together, going out and traveling, and eating and drinking together is such an enjoyable and bonding thing, and even tough we are also fairly physically active and love to hike, camp or take our dogs for a run, the change in my eating habits just got me to this point where I felt so ashamed and depressed and like a let myself down, and it is such a crippling feeling that have food (right NOW) for comfort is a lot more real than the comfort (SIX months to A YEAR down the road) that I would need to get back to a healthy weight, and which seems so abstract and unattainable.
    After several attempts and minor success at dieting, and then falling off the wagon for whichever excuse (a trip, a holdiday, etc…) I tried to pinpoint my biggest obstacles to losing weight and resolved to tackle just two of them. The first one was that I never have time to prepare healthy food every evening to have the next day (when I do, it has to be on Sunday so I’m ready for the weeks and it would take me my whole Sunday afternoon), my husband dislikes most vegetable, so fast food has usually been our answer to “what should we do about dinner?” and whatever fresh items I wouldn’t eat would spoil in the fridge, etc…
    Then, for my 40th birthday this year, my mom gave me $300 and I decided to splurge and spend it on a month of Nutrisystem to see if it would help having food ready to grab on my way out for the day, or after a day of work when I am too tired to put together a healthy meal, and see if it made a difference.
    This did help as I learned how small the portions were that I needed to get back to (!!!), and also because the food is fairly good and varied, and more than anything because it’s ready and idiot proof, so I don’t have to think too hard. It requires to add vegetables to your meal, but to my delight, it seems that the frozen aisle has really improved recently with some interesting heat-in-the-bag veggies that are actually tasty and take less than 5 minutes in the microwave (no peeling and cutting required), and even though it might not be as noble as fresh veggies, at least they don’t end up spoiling in the fridge.
    MyFitnessPal has helped a lot in keeping me on track; I log in every single bite so that I can stay accountable, and look at data and adapt accordingly, as well as being able to see progress. It helps a lot that it really has all the nutritional info you can imagine and you don’t have to guess or weigh food.
    My 2nd hurdle, the tougher one, was that I had to “secede” from my husband’s meals and snacks in order to be successful. Getting him on board with my diet was not an option (he is absurdly healthy for what he eats and has no desire to join my experiment), so I have had to ask him not to invite me on fast food runs, and late night candy indulgence, and that part is actually the hardest. At work, on my own, I am in full control of my environment, but I home, feeling anti-social if we don’t “share” or if I don’t join him, that is very, very tough.
    I have tried to steel myself and I will eat a healthy snack of my own, or a hot tea, or coffee to “join” in so we can hang out without me feeling left out, and he has been considerate to try not to bring fast food home, so there we are…
    And I am happy to report that I have already lost 10 lbs since I started this month, and that it is nice to see the change, even though not every day is as easy, the important part is to forgive yourself and get back on track if you slip. I hope I can stick to it for the long run. I know that I most likely wont be back to 130 lbs of lean muscle, but I would be absolutely thrilled to at least stick to a manageable 145-150 lbs down the road, and also simply to be healthy in my 40’s and not worry about any avoidable illness or health issue…
    So we shall see. But thank you for this article, and the comments, it does help to see how I am not alone in feeling so debilitated and humiliated by my weight gain and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you all 🙂

  • Ruby Lott

    I have gained about 10 pounds since I had skin removal surgery In December 2016 and I am freaked out about it but I just can’t get my eating under control. I can’t afford to hire a personal trainer (I wish I could) I need someone to motivate me. I also need some sample menu to get all my daily protein needed as well as fruits and veg. Can anyone help me? I have lost 200 pounds in 2 years but now I have so much hanging skin that I get so discouraged. Please any help your would appreciated.

  • SweeTee

    This is totally what has recently happened to me!!!!! Although I didn’t have an injury but I graduated in December 2016 and just got into a slump looking for a new job. My energy just wasn’t up as usual plus the semester before I graduated I tried a weight loss drug and lost over 20lbs it gave me a ton of energy!! After coming off the drug my energy level plummeted!!!! I started to gain weight each month; I realized the weight loss drug made me dependent on it bc I began to gain weight quickly as soon as I stopped it. Hopefully I can get my energy level back up and start exercising again the natural way.

  • Martha Gregory

    I have been struggling with this too! I have been happily married for almost 2 years, moved, and got pretty depressed for a while. I went from an already over weight 150lb to 185lb, I’m 5’4″! All of which just made me more overwhelmed and depressed! Finally, my husband and I started talking. We started tracking all our food and exercising. So far I’ve lost about 9lbs. I’m really starting to try to accept myself the way I am, it’s seriously a process!

  • Edna & Preston Roque- Robertso

    I needed to see this today. I’ve gained 30 lbs in a year. I have health issues but I know what works for me which is a walking DVD. I have about 6 so I don’t get bored and they are all different amount of miles from 3 to 5. I don’t eat except breakfast which is coffee with cream and Splenda and an english muffin. Then I’m done for the day. So we also moved and had to have kitchen redone so we ate take out for 1 month. It just turned me off from food. I hate meat now. I love veggies and carbs. But I need protein. I know this and keep from starting! Why? I’m on a lot of medication but know how much I loved walking and had loads of energy. I ate properly. Now I drink water all day to not waste calories but after this article I’m ready to go small goals at first just fit in my old jeans. I’ll watch myself instead of a scale and then buy new clothes. That’s my reward. I have a goal and all I need. Thank you so much for this article.

  • Edna & Preston Roque- Robertso

    Since we moved I need to find a new trainer as well, I learned to love the gym. That was a shock,I was always embarrassed but people were so nice. Yes I’m on depression medication as well as other medication. But no excuses now. I want my body back. That’s really my goal. Even at that weight I am over weight so I will continue until I reach the best weight for me. Oh yes I’m going through menopause. That stinks with weight. I hope others can relate and know that starting over is a choice that needs to be made by them when they are ready.

  • Dreg navarro

    Good posts

  • Angel Lasky

    I’m so overwhelmed with my weight going up and down constant! And recently it’s been more up then down. I’m struggling with all the soda and junk food in my home. I have no support from my kids (all over 16 years old) or my husband.. and with that, I have no will power! I’m so frustrated! I weighed in at docs yesterday and it was 163.. I should be at 145.
    I’m 46 years old and I know at my age it’s harder to lose.
    Oh and let’s just add to my struggle…. Knee surgery on the 18th. Ugh!!!

  • Cathie

    I agree, this is a motivating article! Thank you! I have been steadily gaining and losing the same 15 lbs., I have 140 approximately to lose, I’m 5’4, 63, and 189 lbs. I had been 210 about 5 years ago. As much as a football player, even more! I have depression which I struggle with and had a brain surgery 2 1/2 years ago. It took well over a year to recover, no excercise for that time. I went to my physician a couple of weeks ago and was telling him how weak I felt. That it was hard to even stand up from a sitting position on the floor. This scared me. He said that what I do Right Now, is going affect my life in my 70’s. Wow!
    So I’m on board ! I have started making a huge salad every other morning. It has so many good vegetables and no more than a 1/4 cup of feta cheese. I leave the tomatoes and cumcumbers out until right before eating so things don’t get yucky. This salad is so good I don’t use any dressing. My husband and I eat it for snacks and at dinner to go along with protein. It lasts 2 days! He and I have started walking. I love walking! Listening to the birds, talking to people who have dogs, etc. I heard yesterday on NPR that in a study of an indigenous isolated group who did not ever have had heart disease, I mean never, that one of the conclusions made was it didn’t matter how fast you walked, it was how far you walked. Thank you for the encouragement! I will take 5 lbs at a time and celebrate! Plus walk myself healthy!

  • Diana

    I’ve gained a lot of wt over 3 yrs. I now work nights (nurse) & only have time to eat sporadically & sometimes only get quick snack I can eat quick when time to chart. I try to have low carb high protein diet & have l have lost about 8 lbs in 2 months. But it’s rediculous how nurses have to skip meals get little fluids etc at times. Then I get only 6 hrs of sleep since drive 40 miles ea way to work. Hard to get good sleep during the day to boot.

    Any suggestions to help night shift busy staff?

  • CarolynS156

    Great article!!

  • Shonelle Hall

    Great article! Thanks for sharing!
    Biggest Takeaway! “…strive for progress, not perfection.”
    Thank you!!!

  • Gretchen

    I know this is from MyFitness Pal but has anyone ever tried WW? Which app do you think you get a better idea of healthy eating from? Thanks in advance!

    • Erika Meldrum Harris

      I use MFP connected to my FitBit. I am also in WW. I could be the person in this story too. I went to the doctor and she couldn’t figure out what was wrong. My blood tests all came back normal. I lost five pounds in three weeks following WW then some stressful events happened and I put it back on and was too embarrassed to go weigh in again until I lost that weight. My friend from church started telling me about Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen – you can get the app for free or print it out. I just started it, but I eat breakfast and lunch based on the daily dozen and in between eat snacks based on the daily dozen. I eat dinner primarily based on the daily dozen but since I’m feeding my husband and son, I vary a bit. Using that I have not gone over my points in WW or MFP recommendations. I caution that I just started so I don’t know if this is something I can maintain, it is mainly fruits, vegetables, grains, water and exercise then add in your own protein.

  • Laura

    Thanks for this!! I fractured my hip at 40 yrs old & felt ridiculous & depressed. For 10 months I was on crutches and unable to do much & so we ate a lot of fast food & I’ve gained over 30 pounds. UGH. I’m just getting back to cooking & I’m actually able to walk at the store! I’m logging my food & lost 5 pounds the first 2 weeks, but am at a standstill now. I’m a sugar & salt addict & I think my body has so many meds in it that I don’t sleep as well as I used to. Any suggestions for amping up my weight loss or cleanses that may help w/ quitting sugar/bad habits?

  • Kristin

    Great article! Very inspiring! I am 5’8 and 176 lbs. I have gained 30 lbs in the past year and feel like I have tried so many diets/exercise programs. Two months ago I was diagnosed with blood clots in my lungs. Before all of that happened I was on a low calorie diet and working out 3-4x a week. I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted but I was also looking at the BIG picture and not looking at week to week or just at per month. My doctor won’t clear me yet to workout due to where the clots still hard and my difficulty breathing. I am itching to get back in the gym and on a schedule to help me drop these pounds but in the mean time have been working harder on making better choices with food. Thanks for the pointer thinking about lbs at a time versus the total weight I want to lose.

  • Mike Ramirez

    I had diabetes and went on a low carb diet and lost weight. It wasn’t sustainable and I ended up gaining the weight back. Tried different diets and it always worked as short term solutions but never long lasting. I eventually gave up, resigned myself to be fat, dumb, and happy. But the increasing health issues I was experiencing kind of left me feeling more fat and less happy. So I happened to see a doctor who was really fit and I asked him what to do. He said get rid of sugar, eat fruits and vegetables, eat fish and some chicken once and a while. Avoid red meat and don’t eat after 6pm. I was concerned about the fruit because of the carbs and sugars but the doctor told me not to worry about it. So I followed his advice and the first week was tough, my craving for something sweet was the hardest to overcome but as time went by I started to notice the vibrant sweetness of fruits. Fruits became sweeter than I had previously remembered. I continued to follow this new way of eating and very quickly lost the weight. People at work thought I was going through a divorce or had cancer or surgery. No one could understand how I could lose so much weight so quickly. At first I didn’t understand it either but now I’m more aware of the foods that cause weight gain and without counting a single carb or calorie, I’ve been able to maintain my healthy weight. I feel great, my diabetes went away and I’m fit. The weight loss also helped me with clarity of thinking, so now I’m trim, smart, and happy.

    • Joanne Love Springberg

      Wow! Way to go!

  • Joanne Love Springberg

    I have hit a plateau. I’m close to giving up. I lost 30 lbs and need to lose another60! I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. High protein, low carbs, no sugar. No fat. 800 to 1200 calories a day. I even had a few 400 calorie days to trick my body hoping that would help. The scale wont budge. Even after taking Qsymia for 3 weeks now and daily vitamins! Help!!!

    • MaryBeth

      I have never been on a diet that strict, starting to weight lift was a game-changer for me. Have you tried strength training?

      • Joanne Love Springberg

        I haven’t tried weight lifting, I’m pretty weak and getting old. I just got back from the Dr and have to have back surgery and also found out I have arthritis all up and down my spine. Getting old is no fun lol

  • Elena Gyoerkoe

    Love this. My wake up call was when I hit 187 lbs and was nearing the weight I was when I was pregnant with my 1st child (I have 3 now). I thought ‘jeesh, 3 more pounds and I’ll be as heavy as I was when I was pregnant… but without the excuse of a baby on board!’ Before I had baby #1, I was 132 lbs (I’m a petite 5’2). My ideal weight at that time was 120, but hadn’t been that weight since I was about 21yrs old. After I gave birth, I was able to get back down to 145, but felt like a whale. I didn’t have time to lose more weight before I got pregnant with my second child. After having him, I weighed 155 and it took me about 3 years to get back down to 135 and I felt like a model, lol. But that only lasted about a year before I had my 3rd child and I ballooned up to 165 and couldn’t lose the weight. I had gallbladder surgery in 2015 and gained another 10 lbs. I stayed around there until summer 2016 when I closed my storefront and wasn’t working for a while. I guess I ate my emotions and reached the 187. That was my wakeup call…. only 3 pounds away from my 1st pregnancy weight. I didn’t even weigh that much during my 2nd and 3rd pregnancies! In December 2016, I started on an anti-depressant and I then realized that I had been depressed ever since I gave birth to my 1st child. I had been depressed for over 9 years! When I came out of my depression, my husband and I reconnected like our relationship was new all over again. That reconnection, with coming out of my depression, along with the realization of my weight reaching my 1st baby weight, all helped me start on my recent journey to losing weight and becoming healthier. My husband has been so incredibly supportive which has been detrimental to my success. He surprised me with a personal trainer session after which I felt that after-workout high you mention in your article. After that, I began to see her twice per week, then after a month or so, added another visit to the gym with my husband to do some cardio on the treadmill. We also try and take walks another 2-3 times per week which helps us get some adult time away from the 3 children and stay connected. I also watch my calories and eat healther by logging my meals. Since starting in December, I have lost 20 lbs and weigh 165. My goal is to get as close to 130 as possible, but I’ll take anything as long as I can get below 150. Since my husband and I reconnected, we are planning a wedding vow renewal in August 2017 on the beach, and I want to look fit and healthy in my flowing wedding gown. We never really had a wedding when we got married in 2006 (just a courthouse ceremony with only the magistrate there), so our August wedding will be THE wedding we never got to have. At 42 years old, I feel like I am finally on the right path to getting where I want to be, physically and emotionally.

  • Lisa

    Ok, I’ve been reading through lots of the comments and I’ve now added the MFP app to my phone and immediately recorded the sub sandwich I had for lunch and the Reese’s Pieces Eggs I’ve been eating at my desk in the last half hour. I stepped on the scale yesterday morning and found that I have gained about 8 pounds since the first of the year – no wonder all my clothes are not fitting right and I’m having a hard every morning getting dressed for work! I’ve GOT to lose some weight!! My teenage son and I have just started going to our local rec center so he can lift weights and I can walk the track (we’ve been once but are scheduled to go again tonight). I’m scared to see the reality of the amount of food I eat daily, and calories and fat I’m taking in, but I’ve gotta do it!

    • MaryBeth Massey

      Woohoo! Good for you! I can definitely relate to what you said about your clothes not fitting right! My boyfriend was in a horrible car accident last year, and I completely let myself go taking care of him while he was recovering. I knew I was gaining weight, and it seemed that none of the clothes I used to love looked good on my anymore.
      I finally decided I needed to stop the excuses and get a handle on things. When I finally weighed myself yesterday, I had gained 30 lbs over that 6 months! It was horrifying. I knew it was bad, but I didn’t realize how bad it was!
      I’m with you trying not to be scared to see the reality, but knowledge is power. What we learn about ourselves and food intake helps us get better 🙂 How have the last few days been since you’ve started?

  • Steve Poling

    I recommend a greater focus on new good habits and identifying the triggers of old bad habits. The underlying causes of the weight gain need to be identified, neutralized, and displaced with new causes of improvement. The weight gain was a surprise consequence of doing the wrong things, try to make the weight loss an equally surprising consequence of doing the right things. The body is mostly water, so some weight fluctuations may be out of your control and may not be significant. Do the right things and right outcomes will follow in time.

  • Madison

    Thank you so much for this article.. I have always been a runner and an athlete.. stayed active playing volleyball and softball as an adult.. Last year I had a baby, and then had a hip and hamstring surgery for an injury that had been bothering me for years. I’m fighting so hard to try and get the 30+ pounds off that I have left over from all of that, and it’s very hard to not get discouraged, especially as a full-time working mom with hardly any time to spare. I’ve been pretty bummed about it lately.

    This seriously hit home for me, and it’s something I really needed to read. Thank you again! It’s really nice to know there are others out there that have gone through the exact same things that I’m going through!

  • Michelle Miller

    8 weeks ago, I had my “come to Jesus moment” – I was taking my youngest daughter (6) to her first classmate birthday party… Nothing in my closet fit. I’m 44 & hit menopause, everything slowed, I couldn’t sleep, nightsweats, hot flashes; I felt awful. I had a great conversation and a good, hard, long cry with a friend. I went to her gym with her, began tracking with MFP, & met with the gym’s nutritionist. I’ve lost 9+ pounds (no way of knowing my true total because for the first 3 weeks I couldn’t bring myself to get on a scale)… Slowly making progress, feeling stronger & healthier! Thanks for such a great article! I wish I’d found it sooner!

  • Taylor Nasi

    My weight fluctuates like crazy, but after hitting 200 pounds recently I’ve been determined to lose the weight. However, this determination has not helped me actually do anything about my unhealthy lifestyle. I even visited a doctor or weight loss, but he basically told me diet and exercise is the way and didn’t give me any plans for the future. I left the appointment really discouraged. This article really spoke to me (even about the cup of ice cream I actually had last night!) and encouraged me to call the gym and get set up with a personal trainer. I feel motivated to plan out my meals for this week now and I wanted to thank you. I’m only at the beginning of my journey, but I look forward to similar articles in the future to help me keep going. Thanks.

  • Laura Stangland-Flory

    I am 48 years old and want to lose 60 lbs by the end of the year. At home I cook very healthy and try to do salads with dressing on the side when eating out. I used to be VERY fit and healthy and can’t believe I let myself get to this weight 183. Most embarrassing! I recently started weight training again and gained 2 lbs, I was very discouraged even though I know its probably muscle weight. I also do cardio 4 days a week. When do you think I will start to see results? Any advice would be welcome… Thanks Laura

  • Corkie patterson

    I was so glad your post popped up. I had been doing really good on my diet until this past weekend. Lotz of family company for 4 days. Lotz of fast food. Your post was God sent to encourage me to get started again.

  • Barbara Marsella

    Great article, gives me hope! But, then it goes away

  • bri fox

    1. No. You assume people only gain weight because they “got off track’ as if they are supposed to be confined to some disciplinary structure until the day they die. 2. Nope. You assume too much about your reader to be able to know what exactly will aid them in beginning to lose some of the weight. Weight that you assume they got because they just couldn’t stop eating. 3. All of the nopes. If you continuously treat all of your readers as though they will just never be good enough to advance beyond baby steps, if you keep them in those baby steps for 10 years, they will believe you. They will believe you that they can only do little bits and will never be capable of achieving big giant huge great things. so yeah – you suck.

  • Jennifer Loving

    Awesome article! My wake-up call was 3 years ago when my doctor diagnosed as prediabetic and told that if I didn’t start doing something about it, I’d have to take blood sugar meds 10 years down the road. Having seen family members live with diabetes and even suffer from complications of the disease, I had already decided I was going my life free of it, and my wake-up call added to my determination. I start incorporating more fitness into my life, and tracking my eating! As a result, I lost 25 pounds, developed more lean muscle, and look and feel better overall.
    My therapist recommended My Fitness Pal, so here I am! I’m now working toward losing another 20 lbs. and gaining more muscle while improving my balance, coordination, and flexibility.

  • Rae

    OMS! This article has inspired me. I’ve struggled for a while now and just gave up. I stopped tracking and just ate whatever, whenever. I can slowly rid my kitchen of the mess it’s become by replacing with better choices and embracing a more Mediterranean fare, and I’ll head to the gym today for a re-start! Just seeing that there are others who have the same challenge has brought out some UMPH!! LOL 🙂 Thank you!

  • Jo

    Thank you! I am a Mom of 3 boys and have struggled with my weight ever since I have had the third one. I am 5 foot 5 and have always weighed under 150. Ideally 135-140. After having my first son I was back to 150, second one 160 and the third one put me in the 170-180s. I lost my Mom 4 years ago and Ben and Jerry’s became a staple. Needless to say I am trying to get back on track, yet again. I liked that you said that you don’t want to be controlled by the numbers. I am sick of being consumed by my weight and worrying about it all of the time. I am active. I am a size 12. I too had ACL surgery, GERD surgery, and 3 C-sections because all of my boys were over 9 pounds. Thank you! I started this week to log my food and try to be sure that I am filling each food group, exercising 30 minutes a day, and using my fit bit to track 10,000 steps + I want it bad!
    Thank you!

  • Sharyon

    This was exactly what I needed to read. I’ve been a Weight Watchers Lifetime Member THREE times, and last year I lost 26 pounds, and over the winter I gained 22 back! Every time I attain lifetime status with WW, I tank on maintenance. I was so disappointed. I think small goals will need to be my focus, not the end number. I’m bumping up my activity, watching/tracking/planning my meals, and being less militant (all or nothing attitude doesn’t help me) about each day. Here’s hoping small changes bring on long term commitment. Thanks!

  • Cecelia Klimek

    I loved this article. I found it super helpful!!! I am trying to lose weight before I head off to college in the fall. I have already lost about 30lbs on Weight Watchers (196➡️166lbs) but have hit a weight loss plateau for the past month. Any suggestions? I have switched up what I am eating (making sure to get in more fruits+veggies+lean protein) and have tried new exercise classes-but still can’t seem to get below 165lbs. I’m really at a loss as to what to do now. My goal weight is 125lbs, and it feels like I’ll never get there right now.

  • JorgeN

    Wanted to thank you for this article.

    Like 6 years ago I was at 270. I got down to 185 around 2011/2012. I stayed at 200 pounds (I looked like a bobblehead at 185 so I gained a few pounds) until about 2014. I kind of went into a depression then and went back up to ~240. Last May I got down to 225 and I felt like I found my groove again until a knee/back injury sidelined me for a few months. I’m back up to ~235. I’ve been beating myself up about it and I really needed this. I’m going to the gym tonight and not looking back again. What’s happened’s happened. I can only look forward to the next five pounds like you said. then I’ll think about the next five.

  • Lara Fabans

    Thank you…this article was awesome. I loved so much of it .. Ok, ALL of it…normally I’d try to point out two or three really great things, but it should be required reading for anyone feeling a bit down.

  • Mable

    I totally agree with everything you’ve said in your article. And I made sure to share the article with my SisterFriends in hopes they, too will gain some insight to your synopsis.

  • Amy Reade

    This is honestly one of the best posts I’ve ever read on weight loss and I’m flagging it for future reference. I can’t thank you enough for sharing your story. As a stress eater with lots and lots of stress to deal with over the past year, I am at my heaviest and I’m trying to take the weight loss slowly and with an eye toward not gaining the weight back. One tip that’s helped me in the past: I brush my teeth as soon as dinner is over. That somehow manages to trigger something in my brain that tells me eating is over for the day. It works for me. Thanks again for a great post.

    • Jude Pilsworth

      Thanks for the toothbrushing tip. I will try this from today! Xx

  • Ruth Spradlin

    I am in a tough spot right now. I lost 65 lbs last year. After that my body seemed to go through a change where I was not losing weight, but I was gaining muscle. Since I was not seeing the results on the scale, I fell off the wagon on my diet. I keep cheating and can’t seem to get back on track. I am 48 and going through menopause, so that doesn’t help. I am still around 210lbs, so I need to lose some more. I do feel really good about where I am at, and would be happy just to maintain that for a while, but I am afraid of gaining weight back. My motivation just seems to have hit a brick wall.

  • Maggie Feil Souza

    This article came to me today at the best time. I gained a LOT of weight over the last couple years, and I’ve been struggling hard to get rid of it. I wouldn’t worry so much about it, except my job(S) literally depend on me dropping this weight and getting past my asthma-like issues. This article just gave me inspiration and hope! Maybe, if I try really hard, I can drop 20 lbs. by July 1st. Thank you for publishing this in the nick of time!

  • Kirby Chapman

    I’m a 59 year old male, and was in the best shape of my life in Nov’16. I had packed on 15 lbs of muscle while losing a couple inches on my waist. This was all accomplished through a balanced diet of 40% carbs (veggies, fruits, whole grains), 35% lean protein, and 25% healthy fats (olive oil, avocado, etc), a very dedicated training regimen (5 1/2 hours of Martial arts training per week, a morning 30 min warm-up workout, and a couple hours of weight training each week), and tracking metrics (weight, muscle mass, calories in/out, etc). And then out of the blue, I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of stage 4 non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in Dec. I’m completing the fifth of six aggressive chemo treatments, with the last one completing in May. All indications are that I’m ahead of the curve due mainly to my conditioning at the beginning. A full recovery is expected after seven demanding rounds of chemo, six of which require a six-day stay in the hospital for a 24/7 chemo drip. Needless​ to say, I’m no longer the conditioned person I was last Nov. I’m relating all this, Kirby, in the hope that you will write an article describing how deconditioned folks like me can restart and get back to original conditioning, both strength and cardio. It’s entirely different than “falling of the wagon.” Before this detour on life, I figured out ways to continue training by working around injuries. Not using injury as an excuse to stop training altogether. Today, I desperately miss training, but my body can’t do a lot right now. Chemo collaterally damages your body (bone marrow damage leading to chronic low hemoglobin and white blood cell counts, high levels of fatigue because your body is in a constant state of heavy repair, digestive track damage which makes it a challenge to absorb nutrients, damage to the beneficial bacteria in your gut, potential heart damage, etc.). Since starting chemo, I’ve lost 10 lbs, but my waist is a little larger – so something more than 10 lbs of muscle has gone away or turned into fat. A normal morning 35 min warm-up workout that started with 130 jumping jacks and body weight exercises (burpees, squats, squat jumps) and continued with a series of kicking drills now brings me to my knees after a wimpy 3-5 min. But I catch my breath and continue as best I can because I will not let cancer get the best of me. What was a nice aerobic warm-up workout to start each day has devolved into a series of short anaerobic workouts. Chemo recovery is biologically different than deciding to take time off to be a couch potato. In my case, I didn’t make a decision to have cancer, and I can’t wait for May 10th to pass (last chemo infusion), because then I really am on the road to recovery and reconditioning, which has to include rebuilding chemo-damaged portions of my body. I just don’t know the best path to take to get back to fighting strength/conditioning in the shortest time without hurting myself in the process, and could use some guidance. I do use MFP and MapMyRun to track everything. PSA: During my almost week long chemo stay in the hospital, I meet many other patients who were clearly in great physical condition before they were hit with cancer. There are others (majority) who clearly were not in even decent physical condition. Once they undergo chemo, they struggle to walk down the hallway even with a walker – and many of these folks are younger than me. They struggle to get out of bed or take a shower by themselves. They don’t tolerate the chemo dose well, so have to have a lower dose that isn’t as effective. So if you do, heaven forbid, end up with this horrible disease, how do you want to go into it? As an overweight couch potato who can only tolerate a lower dose that may not be effective, or as one of the minority who is physically fit and will handle a 50% higher dose rate to almost guarantee the effectiveness by killing every cancer cell in your body quickly? After going through this, I don’t need any additional motivation to get back into excellent physical shape so I’m ready for what comes next. Hopefully hearing about my detour in life gives you that motivation as well. The next time you’re surrending time making excuses not to workout or eat healthy, think of me – or better yet, think of the majority who can’t make it down the hallway without a walker in front of them and a nurse on each side holding them up. At the ripe old age of 40 something.

  • Bianca lynn

    I’m in the same boat… There were some distractions in my daily life for the past 5 months or so that caused me to completely fall off the bandwagon. I had lost 107 lbs and was down to 164 and now I saw myself close to 190 and I was freaking out but not doing anything about it. I used to eat healthy, run every morning go to the gym or run during lunch and workout at home every evening. (Note: I am a mother of two little girls and I work full time) So I tried to squeeze in as much exercise as possible. Now that I am no longer in that situation I found myself unmotivated, even though I knew nobody could fix this but me! So I decided to get back to running Monday last week and working out and eating healthier and not eating too late or as much as I used to. I’m working out 3 times a day and I’m already starting to feel the difference!

  • Meghan

    Thank you for this article – especially #2 “Lose the Guilt”. As of Jan 2016 I had gone from 230 lbs to 190 lbs using My Fitness Pal. I was so excited to be losing weight and being more healthy, and then in Feb 2016 found out we were expecting baby #3. I was so uncomfortable and huge while pregnant (all belly), I kind of gave up on tracking what I was eating, and all the bad habits I had lost were back. After I had the baby in Sept 2016, I tried to brush off the weigh gain as baby weight. I hadn’t realized just how bad it had gotten until I saw a picture my husband took of me, and I started crying. I was huge, and when I got back on the scale I was back up to 230 again. I do feel guilty and ashamed, and I can’t believe I let myself get this bad again. All I keep thinking is that I need to be a good role model for my children.
    No more stopping for fast food on the way home. I’m tracking again and going back to my extra lean ground turkey and veggies. Time to renew my gym membership too.

  • Linda LaFleur

    This was so inspiring for me. I am 5’6″ and weigh 220 lbs. I have always struggled with my weight. I have lost and gained twice in my life through Weight Watchers but find myself not motivated anymore. I have been using the my fitness pal and got down to 218 but can’t seem to stick with anything for long. I am diabetic and on insulin and have been to a dietician several times but I can’t seem to stick ywith anything. I am in touch with my emotions because I have had quite a few losses in my life including my husband of 43 years among other family members that I was close to. I feel a tremendous void in my life now and now find myself filling it with food. Your story made me feel I am not alone in my struggle. Today I will start again to log my food in. Thank you.

  • Neha Patel

    What a wonderful article, just what i needed!
    Last April I was introduced to My fitness pal and with just macro management and keeping within my macros I lost 15lbs in just 4 weeks and transformed so much. I continued but I realized i couldn’t have much energy to work out as I was just eating whats allowed, I was afraid to up my calories or so, but eventually i did and my work out capacity also increased.
    In just few more weeks I got tired of eating beans, asparagus , tilapia etc.and I felt Im depriving myself from variety. If I substituted with other foods my macros got messed up…so i pretty much stayed with just few kinds of veggies and lean meat which made me tired of it and I slipped to my old eating habits.
    Also preparing meals in advance was risky as when I ate 3rd 4th day I felt the taste was different and that discouraged me even more
    Other issues was too many trips to grocery as well as being so fucessed in those calculations that it was overwhelming to manage my diet and I was not able to involve in taking care of my family( husband and child).
    These were the reasons for me to fail while i was going so well towards my goals.
    I am still wondering how to go back on that scary obsessively macro calculating program even though know that helped me. Any easier way to manage diet/nutrition ?

  • Darrin Brenner

    Loved this blog, Kirby! I can SO relate- to you as well as many of the commentators. I have always been a “foodie”, and had to watch my weight my entire life. I had managed to stay a decent weight for over a decade but after my divorce. menopause, (and more recently my daughter moving out), I turned to food for pleasure, fun, reward, whatever. I proceeded to gain 50 lbs.
    The breaking point for me was when I went to a respiratory doctor for a cough that lingered after a bout of bronchitis. He informed me that my breathing was affected from the OUTSIDE as well as the inside. Meaning- my big, fat stomach was interfering with my lungs ability to function properly! This was the last straw. I could deal with the knee pain, back pain and not looking cute in clothes- but my stomach getting in the way of my BREATHING?! Unacceptable. At this point I was 206 lbs. I am 5’5″.
    I went to a diet clinic and with help and guidance I have lost 25lbs. I still need to lose another 20-30 – but i seem to have hit a plateau. I have now started walking briskly for 20-30 minutes almost every night. I need to start tracking gym food better (I think I may have let some extra calories sneak in)!
    Anyway, thank you for the advise, and for sharing your experience, strength and hope!

  • Linda Hernandez

    This article really hit home for me. I have felt helpless as my weight has crept up. I went from the 120’s in my 20’s to the 140’s in 30’s and currently 160’s in 40’s at 5’4″. I just did the whole30 diet with such high expectations for success. I really cut the carbs and followed plan and didn’t lose an ounce! It was disheartening and put me in a tailspin of unhealthy eating and binging. I’m in a daily battle to release my guilt and move forward to a healthier me.

  • Don Reitsma

    I set mine up for low carb : high fat so 5% cabs, 20% protein and 75% fat with a and target weight loss of 2 lbs per week.

    It has been pretty much spot on and down 45 lbs in less than 6 months!

  • Kerri Campbell

    This post is so to the point being straight up about gaining weight so easily and the losing part being so hard. But you’re right it’s better to feel healthy and feel good about yourself than feeling deepto Rsss about what number you see on the scales.
    I for one have gained about a stone (14lbs) in the matter of a month, and the only person I have to blame is myself. I’ve gotten so lazy now a days because of starting full time work and having two young ones,I just don’t have the time for myself anymore. My main priority is having my two kids fed watered and kept alive. Though I know I need to incorporate keeping myself healthy and happy in there somewhere, because if I’m not happy then I can’t make my children happy. I just haven’t worked it out yet.
    My cupboards are filled with sweety things and chocolate, mostly due to easter just passing, but also to do with my partner bringing it all in. My plan of action at the moment is to have everything gone from the cupboards and fridge and freezer then start from scratch. This way I can only have nice healthy and energetic things in sight so I’ll feel better this way. Instead of just seeing chocolate or multipack crisps and snacking on them constantly.
    I have been obsessive over my weight and body shape since I’ve been a teenager, around 16, and even after my having my children and knowing my body shape changes,I still have my old figure in my head and can’t let go of it. But I’m currently seeing a therapist at the minute to try be happy within myself and let go of that old obsessive body dismorphia me.
    Here’s to the next steps, not just for me, but for all of us!

  • Sukee

    Thank you for this sensible approach to weight control. You have motivated me to get tracking my food. I am a very active 72 year old. I do all the gardening and mowing on our acreage. I love the outdoors, dislike (hate is a bit harsh) I detest walking aimlessly up our country road even with my friend who would love me to join her. I have just acquired a treadmill. With the TV on and a good program running,I am okay with that as long as the sun isn’t shining and calling me outside. Thanks again and good luck to everyone

  • William Bumpus

    I must really love you because I paused a NCAA Basketball GAME to read your blog. I enjoyed it and related on levels that you may not be aware of. I have struggled with my weight issues for well over 30 years, only getting it under control for a brief period of time with an extreme dieting/fasting program (Optifast, the one your Auntie O utilized ), then I maintained the desired weight by marathon training and regular bike rides of 40-100 miles, for a couple of years. Unfortunately, like most extreme measures this was an ill fated long term solution and when life, work and injuries hampered my time or ability to work out, the lost weight “found” my big, black derriere. … So my weight has at times exceeded 330 lbs, to a regular walk around weight of 290-310 lbs. On 1-1-2017, I weighed 300 lbs….
    At the time of reading your blog, I was at 295 lbs.

    So, my beautiful and intelligent, daughter, I took your advice: I started small with a goal of losing 5 lbs in 30 days. I began loosely following Weight Watchers, unofficially/ghetto style, via, my sister, who provided details of the program. I lost 10 pounds.

    I formally joined Weight Watchers on 4-4-2017, at 285 lbs, I follow the program religiously. I work out every other day on my elliptical machine and rowing machine. I am TRYING to increase my daily steps, with a goal of 10,000 steps, which I rarely attain..more like 6,000 to 7,500 steps daily. As of 5-6-2017, I have lost over 21 lbs., Weight Watchers Works…

    So, Princess, you were my wake up call.
    I hope you will see “less of me”, when I see you in June.

    Thank you,
    from the man, who used to change your diapers..
    love, Dad..

  • Marti

    Thank you for this. I had lost 25 lbs but recently regained 10, this articled has inspired to refocus and go forward towards my ultimate goal, one pound at a time.

  • sirjohnnyrotten

    i have been off from work for 5 weeks with back injury i go back to work tomrrow so hopefully i can lose it . its 15 pounds to the waist it went fast. 🙁