General Question

tedibear's avatar

Have you lost a significant amount of weight and kept it off for at least five years?

Asked by tedibear (16274 points ) September 30th, 2013

By significant, I mean at least 30 pounds. (That is my definition, not necessarily that of the weight loss community.)

If yes, what was your initial weight loss plan? If you modified it along the way, what changes did you make? How have you continued to keep off the weight? What do you think has kept the weight off?

If no, what things have you tried to do to lose weight? (List as many as you have tried, or at least those that you remember.) When you have lost weight, what was the longest stretch of time that you kept it off? When you gained the weight back, did you gain only what you lost or did you put on more along with it? Why do you think that the weight has not stayed off?

If you don’t fall into either of these categories but can provide fairly accurate and complete information about someone you know, please do.

I ask this because I’ve been doing some interesting reading, and am wondering how Jellies might fit into the statistics that I have come across. I realize that it will be anecdotal, but that’s okay. I’m not doing a scientific study.

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30 Answers

Headhurts's avatar

Yes. I was 13 stone as a teenager, 6 years ago I was 10 stone. Within a year of moving in with my boyfriend I lost 1 and a half stone. That was 5 years ago. I now weigh 8 stone 4. I work very hard and quite obsessively to keep to around this weight. I do not want to get bigger. I exercise 3 hours a day when I’m not at work, and eat as well as I can. I have a treat day on a saturday. I am only 5’2, so any extra weight really shows on me.

Pachy's avatar

Can’t meet the five-year requirement, but more than a year ago, due to some health issues, I went on a diet, lost 25–30 pounds, and haven’t gained more than two or three pounds since. The diet is the only one that’s ever really worked for me: a brisk, 45-minute walk and calorie counting.

Judi's avatar

Yes but I’m getting out of control right now and need to get my butt moving and start paying attention to what I’m eating again!
I lost 80 lbs and kept most of it off since 2003. I am up about 25 right now though and need to get serious NOW!

tedibear's avatar

@Headhurts – May I ask, how old are you now? Thanks.

serenade's avatar

I’m curious about the statistic you speak of.

In my twenties, I dropped a lot of weight when I moved to a very walkable city (Seattle) and walked hills every day to get anywhere. Currently, I’m pleased to say that I’m down 15 lbs since July primarily through calorie restriction, and I would have to say partly, too, through some success with a meditation that has nothing to do with weight loss, but that has significantly reduced stress in my life. I haven’t weighed this little since around 2003.

Headhurts's avatar

@tedibear Yes sorry, I am 34. It’s harder each year to keep it off.

jca's avatar

I have posted a link from the NY Times on a weight loss study that showed that people who have lost a lot need way more exercise and way more caloric restriction than people who were never heavy in the first place. Will try to find link and post. In the meantime, if someone else wants to find it (either from NY Times site or from my previous answers) please feel free.

jca's avatar

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/01/magazine/tara-parker-pope-fat-trap.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

The Fat Trap by Tara Parker Pope. Read it. It’s significant and great.

tedibear's avatar

@jca – I don’t know if this; is the link you mean, but I find it interesting as well.

@Judi – Thank you for the link. I just registered and am interested to see what their surveys are like. I find it very interesting that they are using “kept it off for one year” as a marker. I wonder if they think that means success?

tedibear's avatar

LOL! Jinx! @jca !

@serenade – The statistic I’m talking about is that 95% of people who have lost weight have gained all of it back – and sometimes more – within five years.

seekingwolf's avatar

I am getting weight loss surgery done in December. I need to lose about 130lb-150lb. I hope to keep it off forever.

jca's avatar

@seekingwolf: You will do great!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes. In 1988 I lost 60 pounds and I’ve kept it off. I changed my eating habits, permanently.

creative1's avatar

Yup well over 100lbs and though I had gastric bypass loose it, it was the change in life style keeps it off.

DigitalBlue's avatar

I lost 130lbs about 11 years ago. I have yo-yo’d 40lbs of that, so my maintained weight loss has fluctuated between 90–115lbs, but I would say 15lbs of that just came on for no apparent reason and I never lost it again. I think my body wants that 15lbs, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to keep trying to get it to go away.
I ate right and exercised. I still eat right and exercise. I have spent years bordering on what is probably an eating disorder, at the very least my relationship with food is disordered. I am obsessive and restrictive and I think to some degree I have conditioned myself to dislike eating anything at all.
Even with that aside, I still am probably more aware of what I eat and the potential for it to make me gain weight than most people. I am never not counting calories and macros in my head, even when I’m not actively trying to lose weight. It really is a lifestyle change. If you want it to last, you can’t ever stop.

tedibear's avatar

@creative1 – What year did you have your surgery? How long did it take the 100 pounds to come off? What lifestyle changes have you made to keep the weight off?

By the way, I hope no one takes my extra questions as though I’m grilling them! I’m just here to learn. :-)

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Unfortunately I put on a significant amount of weight and kept it on for over five years! I wish I could do the opposite!

jca's avatar

@tedibear: I had sleeve surgery and lost about 80 lbs within 6 months. It took about another year to lose the other 30 lbs. I would like to lose about another 30, but I have to get on the ball and either exercise or really diet in a traditional way to do so.

YARNLADY's avatar

No. When I first seriously decided to lose weight, after my youngest child was born, I began a very strict diet and took up walking at least a mile every day.

I gradually lost pound after pound, and after about a year, I was nearing my target weight. I told my doctor how happy I was that I could finally start eating like a real person again.

She stunned me with the news that my diet was a “life style” change that I would have to stay on for the rest of my life. I was shocked to hear that and very unhappy. I told her I would rather be fat, and I put many of my favorite foods back into my diet. My weight went back up some, but not to the pre-diet amount.

I have since come under the care of a dietitian who allows me to eat everything I like, but just in very small amounts. That works much better for me. I really hated my previous diet which made me give up bread, nuts, bacon and many other things I like.

tedibear's avatar

@jca – How long has the 110 pounds stayed off? I know that you have mentioned your surgery before, but I can’t remember when that was.

@YARNLADY – How much total have you kept off and for how long? I, too, am an advocate for portion control. I don’t necessarily practice it, but I think it’s a great thing to do.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

I have had yo-yo weight fluctuations for the past 5 years or so. I was a very skinny kid but I got a desk job around age 20 and gained about 20 pounds. I weighed 120 pounds. Around age 22 I got a job where I was on my feet all day everyday walking a lot. I lost about 25 pounds. About a year later I got pregnant. The doc said I was too underweight to have a healthy pregnancy (which ended up being a crock of shit) so I tried hard to gain. Well I gained, and gained. And by the end of my pregnancy I weighed 140 pounds. Unfortunately my bad eating habits kept me around the same weight to this day. I’m now 25 and have been struggling to lose even a pound. I have tried a couple crazy cleanses and diets. I didn’t stick with any of them long enough to see results. I started this weight loss journey about 6 months ago and haven’t had luck. I started with a ground turkey, veggies, and brown rice diet. All day. Everyday. Just those foods. No treats. No sugar. I felt extremely deprived. I was miserable. I also incorporated bike riding, cardio and weight training into that diet and still seen almost no results. I also tried a juicing cleanse and a lemon water only cleanse. I quit after a day. My next attempt is going to simply be eating healthy meals, limit my desserts and snacks to only one treat a day, and walk a lot. It worked when I was 23. I lost all that weight on accident just from simply working at a job where I walked around a lot. So my hope is that I can drop about 20–25 pounds by adapting to a healthier lifestyle but still not depriving myself of a sweet treat every now and then.

jca's avatar

@tedibear: I had the surgery two years ago, May of 2011.

YARNLADY's avatar

@tedibear I seem to stick around 50 lbs overweight, down 25 from my all time high.

livelaughlove21's avatar

Nope. I dropped 40 lbs when I was 16 using Atkins (never again) and kept it off for about 3 years. I never got quite as high as my starting weight again, but I’ve been within 10 lbs of it and I have a history if yo-yo dieting. I’ll never be at my ending weight again, though. I was young and my body is different now.

At 5’5” my highest weight was 165 lbs and my lowest was 124 lbs. I’m currently just under 140 lbs and looking to be between 130 and 135 lbs by the time I’m done. I’m losing very slowly now because in not “dieting,” I’m just changing my habits so I can actually keep it off this time. I also tend to eat what I want on weekends or special occasions, but my healthy eating during the week keeps me from gaining. Strict diets don’t work for me. I love food and I’ve finally discovered a way I can enjoy food and still control my weight. No daily salad for me!

I’m actually pretty okay with how I look at this weight, so there’s no rush to get to goal just yet. I’d just like to maintain this weight through the holidays instead of gaining like I normally do.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@YARNLADY Your post makes a very important point. One should never “go on a diet.” That implies that you can go off the diet at some point, as you thought you could.
Well, when you go off of the diet and go back to eating like you did before, you’re going to gain all that weight back. It’s only logical.

When a person wants to lose weight they need to change their eating habits. They need to create habits that they can live with.
When you deny yourself, over and over, that makes a person very unhappy. Don’t deny yourself. Find something to replace it.
Eventually you’ll find that you actually prefer the new foods over the old.

For example, yesterday I took my daughter and granddaughter to Braums to celebrate her 3rd place win in the spelling bee. We only go to Braums for “special occasions” which only come around once every few years. I ordered my favorite, the Black Forrest Sundae. I asked for a half order but they couldn’t provide that. I just shrugged, and got a full order, which I knew I couldn’t eat. As it turns out, I was only able to eat ½ of one of the two scoops. My grand daughter packed the rest up to take home with them.

However, if I had actually been able to eat the whole thing, and knew I’d have to be battling not to, and hating myself if I failed, I would have ordered a a single scoop cone instead. That way I’m not denying myself completely, and I’d get the satisfaction I wanted from this rare splurge.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Went to the Dr’s the other day. I’ve gained 3 pounds. It’ll take me about a week to shed them right back off.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

When I was 46, I was 6’2”, weighed 265lbs. When I wasn’t working 50 – 60 hours a week, I watched TV, was on the computer, or I slept. I slept A LOT. On weekends, I sat around the house, read a little, watched a lot of TV, and slept. I was depressed, I didn’t feel good, and I didn’t like what I looked like in the mirror. I didn’t like being around people and I was tired all the time. God, I hated buying clothes.

On a whim—mostly out of nostalgia—I bought a nice tour bike and I began cycling for the first time in years. It felt good. I took longer and longer rides. The aerobics alone, the oxygenation, had a remarkable effect on my moods. That was fine for the lower body and aerobics, but I had man tits. I had handles. I was soft. I kinda wanted more, but I really couldn’t see myself working out in the gym to get it.

So, I bought a kayak and started leisurely exploring the wetlands in my area. Between this and the cycling, I lost a little weight, but mostly I was feeling better than I had in years. I met a woman while cycling. She was into yoga. I started doing yoga with her because l liked being with her. It felt good, too. It was calming and the stretching helped rid the aches from long rides. It also improved my performance on both the bike and kayak.

I met this older guy one day on the local bike trail. He had a flat in a bad place and I let him use my patch kit. He was a former Golden Gloves champion, very macho type, very into weight lifting and basically challenged me to lift in his backyard under the friggin’ sun one day. Free weights. In the sun. In the summer, in Florida. I hadn’t lifted since college. He was a no pain, no gain type of guy and I was pretty much done with it after the first session. I thought I was gonna die. But I kept running into him on the bike trail and he kept challenging me and I had to admit that, after the initial soreness dissipated, I felt really good after that first session. So, I went back for more. And more. And more. Freaking masochist.

I finally left the guy’s back yard and found a clean, air conditioned gym with great weight machines, showers, an Olympic-size swimming pool, climbing wall, sauna and whirlpool. It was close to work. I would workout—either upper or lower body—shower, do a slow breaststroke for a kilometer in the pool, and then hit the whirlpool and damn near fall asleep in it. I lost fat and replaced it with muscle. The yoga helped to keep me from becoming muscle bound. I felt like a kid. I discovered that I could bike faster and farther with less effort, kayak easier, make great headway with one stroke of the oar, and enjoy both activities much more than before. I was beginning to feel like freaking superman. I began going on lone camping trips in a fully loaded two-man kayak. Portaging was no problem. I went on 50 to 100 mile cycling tours. Biking and kayaking was no longer work, it was play. I bought a kayak trailer for my bike and would get lost in the wilderness for the weekend.

The first month in the gym was pure torture, but after that I became addicted to it. If I didn’t spend 3 or 4 days at the gym, 3 hours at a time, I was in a pissy mood. My job in research got easier, I got more done, I handled stress much better. I was a much nicer guy to be around. I slept a lot less, but it was deeper and more refreshing. I was very horny for the first time in years. My days were fuller and longer. I gave my TV away. I could read without falling asleep. I began kite surfing in the afternoons after work. I was literally flying. I had become superman.

In hindsight, I never really expected to radically change my body shape after so many years in a sedentary lifestyle. I just wanted to feel better. But in about 6 months into it, I was getting compliments and one day I weighed myself and I was 132lbs. One morning, while looking in the mirror, I saw just the hint of an ab. I hadn’t seen one since I was 25. From that point on, there was no return. I eventually bought a sailboat and began soloing along the coast with the kayak on deck. That was 19 years ago and I haven’t weighed more than 135lbs since. I feel younger than I did at 41.

It’s impossible now to go to the gym regularly as I am an offshore sailor now, but I get a lot of exercise working the deck when solo. I hike a lot when on land. I like mountainous islands. I do my yoga. I’ve kept my muscle tone and feel great, even though I’ve had two heart attacks, frequently pass kidney stones that would kill a bull, and have recently been diagnosed with an aortic abdominal aneurism. I can outwork most of my younger first mates and I am still dangerous to the women. I am a happy man and captain of my ship.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Edit: _“When I was 46, I was 6’2”, weighed 265lbs.” Make that 41 years old.
“one day I weighed myself and I was 132lbs.” Make that 232lbs.

creative1's avatar

@tedibear I had the surgery in April of 04 the changes, it took about a year for all of it to come off but that was with a lot of exercising and daily trips to the gym sometimes 2 times in a day. I had lost over 175 at the time. The changes I made was with constantly staying active. I try to eat more protein, fruits and veggies. Its only since about 2010 that I started having sugar in my diet but I try not to eat much in the lines of refined sugars. I also try not to have the hormones and antibiotics in my meats and buy more farm fresh rather than grocery store. Even though I eat better its the exercise that really was the thing that made me loose the most weight and keep it off. Swimming an hour a day is how I took the weight off, as I hit plateau’s I would add in riding the bike and then running the track. I found the more exercise I did the more I would loose.

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