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I am maintaining a 287 pound weight loss. I did it without surgery. As I write this update I realize that these two facts make me seem like a Super Star - that I woke up one morning, decided to lose the excess weight, did, and in a reasonable amount of time it was over. Problem solved. No, my journey was not that linear. In fact I lost the weight in stages.

In the first stage, I addressed the fact that I was a workaholic and followed a pamphlet my doctor had given me for a balanced healthy diet and lost 132 pounds. I have kept off the first 132 pounds I lost since 1991 - 30 years as I write this. So my starting weight was 502 pounds in February of 1988 and I have never weighed more than 370 pounds since 1991.

Then my weight bounced around, dropping to 215 at one point before climbing but it never climbed above 370.
I then lost another 58 pounds to weigh 312 pounds and have weighed 312 or less since January 1, 2007 - fourteen years as I write this.

Since January 1, 2007, my weight bounced around again lowering to 169 pounds for about 15 minutes, and increasing as I battled breast cancer but never exceeding 312 pounds.

Then I dropped down to 260 pounds, or 52 pounds less, by November 11, 2018 and have never gained those pounds back for three and a half years to date.

Finally I lost an additional 45 pounds down to 215 pounds by the time I joined SparkPeople 2 years ago on April 9, 2019, and have weighed that or less since then.

A total of 287 pounds lost and kept off.

This has been a 33 year effort for me. So, no, not a Super Star but certainly one who never gives up. And it certainly has been a long process. I do not consider myself an expert at losing weight but I do consider myself an expert at what not to do. All those decades as my weight bounced around taught me valuable lessons about how to maintain a weight loss- which of course is the only thing that matters because who cares if you lose weight only to gain it back. Speaking from personal experience, I can tell you that gaining back weight that you fought hard to lose is humiliating.

Your ability to maintain your weight loss begins the first day of your efforts to diet before you have even had time to make one lifestyle change or to lose one pound. How you lose the weight decides whether or not you are going to keep it off. Based on my experience I found two secrets to maintaining a weight loss.

My first secret is to only make the lifestyle changes you are willing and able to continue doing the rest of your life. During my first stage of what I call bouncing around (which is losing then regaining weight lost) I lost about 145 pounds on a doctor and dietician supervised protein drinks only diet. Of course I was not expected to drink only liquid protein and nothing else for the rest of my life and ended up regaining every pound back. What a waste of time and money. And how demoralizing. So none of this extreme stuff. No matter how effective in taking the weight off, the extreme stuff is unsustainable long term.

My second secret is to lose the weight as slowly as possible. That allows you to circumvent your body's alert system that responds to protect you from starvation in case of a famine. If you can keep that alert system turned off, then your body will not try to regain the weight lost against your wishes. I call it sneaking dawn past the rooster.

For instance, when I lost the doctor supervised 145 pounds mentioned above it took me about 10 months to lose it and my body pulled out all its might to protect me from starvation and make sure I gained every pound back. It took eight years of relentless effort to regain that weight but my body did not give up until it achieved its purpose. I was helpless against biology and evolution.

But I was a slow learner. I kept trying to lose weight with only liquid protein and that led to my second bouncing around stage mentioned above.

The slower you lose the weight, the easier it is to keep the weight off. For instance, once I finally realized and implemented my secret number 1 and only made those lifestyle changes I was willing and able to follow the rest of my life, I was very disappointed in my weight loss. The first year I only lost 14 pounds. The second year I lost 15 pounds. The third year I lost 18 pounds. And this was when I was still over 100 pounds overweight. I considered myself a failure until I did the math and noticed that these 3 years added up to 47 pounds total lost. And the best part was that the constant, unrelenting hunger that insists on being fed as if the future of the human race depended on my eating had not shown up despite this major weight loss. And seemingly my metabolism hadn't slowed down to try to save me from famine either. Simply put, that 47 pounds was easy to keep off. Dawn had come but the rooster didn't notice and did not crow.

I have stuck by these two secrets and my bouncing around has stopped as you can see from my history and I have slowly continued to lose weight and not regain. Maybe my story will help you too.

When you get knocked down, you get up even stronger.

(Deleted my before and after pictures to prevent scammers from pirating them like they did INDYGIRL to use them to sell their weight loss products. April 20, 2021)

Original post June 21, 2019 below:

I am 67 years old and maintaining a 287 pound weight loss. I am trying to decide whether to go for that last 50 pound loss that will put me perfectly on the doctor's weight loss chart. Well, I guess I've actually decided to go for it because I have now joined SP. I just don't know if it is reasonable to expect more.

Member Since: 4/9/2019

Fitness Minutes: 50,605

My Goals:
To get stronger physically and to reduce my waistline to a healthier measurement. Possibly to lose 50 pounds.

My Program:
Strength training four times a week, chair yoga twice a week, tai chi twice a week, and walk at least 40 minutes every day.(I am retired. Can you tell?)

Personal Information:
I am now a retired attorney who practiced law trying cases all over the state weighing 502 pounds! But when you are under 40 years old, you can get away with many dangerous habits with seemingly no repercussions. I slowly lost weight as I got older and wiser.

Other Information:

Read More About HUNTER0077 - Profile Information moved here. (Updated April 20)

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