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Five years ago, I won my struggle with my weight. I worked hard, and lost 40+ pounds. I look great and felt even better. For the first time in my life I wore a size 6 jeans honestly felt like I'd won the lottery

I soon found that keeping the weight off was , MUCH more difficult than losing it to begin with. Then I fell into the trap of reading umpteen different health and fitness blogs and veering far , far away from what worked for me, my body and my lifestyle, and trying to emulate everyone. My search for what I though thought was "optimal health" made me nothing but confused.

Here I am 5 years later. I am not healthy and I've  gained back the 40 plus pounds I lost. It's one thing thing to never have experience feeling victorious over the weight monster, it's quite another to have defeated it then have it rise from the dead and drop you like a ton of bricks. That is my semi-creative way of saying I feel like crap for having gained it all back! I got a taste of  thin and not I want it back!

I've come to one conclusion after the past 5 yrs of trying to fight against the tide. I need to do what works for me! I can't rewrite someone else's story. I have to do what makes me comfortable, what works for my budget and my lifestyle.

Many things have changed in the past 5 years since I was successful in weight loss. I was laid off from a job I had for 20 yrs. That devastated me. Then I was hired for a new job. Something I'd never done before. After 3 months I was told that I was a great person, but it just wasn't working out...... I'd failed. That completely killed me! I then took a job that I was hoping would be a good fit. It turned out to be one of the worst experiences of my life. I stuck with it for over a year. Finally out of no where I got a call from a place I'd applied to originally and figured I may as well go in for an interview and see what they had to offer. It turned out to be the perfect fit! After almost 3 yrs of floundering, I finally found where I belong. I am so grateful!

I feel like my life is finally in a settled place. I'm no longer up in the air. So now is the time. I dusted off and studied all my old food and exercise journals.I've decided to let go of all the things that work for other people and embrace what worked for me! I'm going back to basics..

In the past counting calories worked best. I keep to 1200-1500 calories a day, and I document every single thing I put in my mouth. I understand this is controversial and most "popular" health and fitness bloggers are against it, but tough. For me, it works. I need to see it in front of me, on paper, and I need to physically write it down. I also keep track of my workouts in the same journal.

As far as workouts go, my body responds best to short burst of intense exercise 3x a week, steady state exercise 2-3x a week. I love doing the combination of body weight circuit training and HIIT. I find for me it burns the most fat. I am all for getting in and out of the gym [my basement] as quickly as possible. When I lost the weight 5 years ago I did a program called "Turbulence Training". It worked for me, so I'm dusting it off and trying it again!

This time around I'm going to take all the mistakes I made the last time and turn them into a valuable lesson. I am uncomfortable in my own skin right now, I want to get back to where I was. Everything in my life has finally fallen back into place after 3 years of being upside down. Getting my body back is the last piece of the puzzle. This time I know what I'm doing, I know the traps, and I know for sure what works for me.

It's time to get to work!

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Comment by MarthaG on March 24, 2014 at 1:19pm

Hi Susan,

doing what works for you is definitely the way to go.   I think it was Mark Twain who wrote something like "if you don't like the nutrition advice wait 10 years and it'll change!"  You  have been through so much in the last few years and so happy to hear that you've landed a job that is right for you.  Makes it easier IMO to deal with the weight issue.

One thing you didn't mention that is sort of "new" on the weight loss and maintenance front is to no think of this as a "diet."  Rather think of this as a lifestyle change that you will stick with forever.   For me, I looked at this a change in my eating habits to select healthy foods most of the time, eat when I'm hungry, track my food (for me this is critical) and to move every day.  I don't know you  height, but 1200 calories is on the low side especially if you are working out.  You can see what works for you.  

I track my food on my fitness pal which is free. Also just joined spark people and really like the site and the articles and support.   Lots of support here too. 

Good luck!

Comment by Paula on March 24, 2014 at 8:53pm

I would love to hear more about the Turbulence Training you did. Glad to hear that everything else in your life has fallen into place. With everything going so well, it will make losing weight and getting healthier easier. I am finding I need to do what works for me. Diet plans are not one size fits all. 

Comment by Keem on March 25, 2014 at 2:53pm

You've learned from  your past efforts so this time around should be easier. :)


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