Post # 1
As I have been on the road to a healthier lifestyle I have slowly had more friends and family take interest in getting their own health on track. One person in particular, who is near and dear to my heart, is my cousin. She’s an amazing young woman who has been struggling for years to over come the labels thrown at her because of her weight.
I’ve struggled myself with ups and downs, but being very over weight has never been an issue for me. Because of this I am hoping that some of you may be able to help me. My cousin was using Herbal Magic to shed the pounds and change her life, but unfortunately it’s just too expensive to continue with. I’ve offered to help her and we check in daily to talk about new strategies, but I feel like I need more resources to truly help her. The weight issue for her is much more than just food. I’m a comfort eater myself, but her weight issues became a serious problem in her early teens as her parent’s marriage became a messy divorce. For her it’s much more of an emotional problem than a nutrition one.
For those of you who have had huge weight transformations could you please share your experience and tell me what it was that motivated you to get past those first huge hurdles? I know the beginning is going to be the toughest for her and I really need to look at this from her mindset if I want to help in a positive way. She has no other support for this right now so I’m very focused on helping her. This is going to be life changing for her.
My cousin is 5’4, about 230-240 lbs right now. Our family is very small boned, so at this weight she has a lot of back discomfort and trouble finding energy to carry her weight. She recently had a breast reduction which has made a huge difference for her. I think this is the right time to move forward for her.
Any advise and tips are welcome!!
Thank you 🙂
Post # 3
@west.coast.blonde: Is your cousin someone who would feel a lot of gratification for succeeding in “challenges”?
Reason I ask is that I lost about 40 lbs in 6 months before I would let myself try on a wedding gown. I wasn’t all that large but it was becoming a huge self-confidence issue for me. I didn’t want to look in mirrors and none of my clothes fit. I don’t know exactly what made me finally hit the point when I was ready to do it. Maybe it was the wedding, maybe it was just a motivating factor. But I decided to start on a Monday.
I began with Hungry Girl stuff because you could eat a good bit and they were easy to do. However, I quickly got tired of that because nothing was natural and I LOVE pasta. I couldn’t cut out all meat and pasta even though I know those need to be eaten in moderation. I followed the Weight Watchers model but didn’t pay for the program because I couldn’t afford it.
But the biggest thing was exercising. I walked and ran every day, even twice a day sometimes until I could get in good enough shape to run for at least 30 minutes. Walking is very healthy too, especially if her knees hurt or she’s out of shape. To keep myself accountable I signed up for a half-marathon and then another 10K. I woke up and ran every morning throughout the summer and lost 1-2 lbs per week. The first 20 came off quickly…the other 20 not so much. But I was able to eat a good bit even though I was hungry a lot.
After awhile the lbs melting off people will compliment you, which helps a ton. And my FI was really encouraging, as well as my friends and family. I concentrated on 10 pounds at a time.
If she needs your support you could sign up for a 5K together and do the couch to 5K program or sign up to do a lot of them for local charities. Those registration fees are cheaper than the larger races. Or you could exercise together to keep accountability. What’s nice about WW is that you don’t feel totally deprived. You can have ice cream one day if you want…just make sure you exercise and cut a few calories from elsewhere. If she’s feeling down and wanting to emotionally eat, she can force the habit of going out for a walk or run to clear her mind. That would get her out of the house and away from the refrigerator?
Your friend can do it, and I’m sure she’ll be so happy when she does it! You’re such a great person for wanting to support her!
Post # 4
I would suggest to her to keep a diary. Everytime she over eats to write down what she was feeling and why. It can help her to identify exactly what are triggers.
Then she can learn new tools to dealing with those triggers. Maybe she can go for a walk or take a bath or garden or call you to talk. Help her ID new strategies.
I would also encourage to read a few book. You on a Diet, by Dr. Oz is a good one. Also, she might want to read this http://www.amazon.com/Women-Food-God-Unexpected-Everything/dp/1416543074
If she can afford it she might want to see a counselor as well. As you said, its emotional eating more than just eating. You have to address the mental as well as the food.
For her next bday maybe get her a subscription to Clean Eating magazine to give her some easy recipes at her fingertips.
Only she can do the changing and she wont change until the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of changing. But you can help her and support her.
Post # 5
@Miss Polka Dot Bride: Thank you, I love the 5k idea! I’ve used the couch to 5k app myself and although it’s hard it’s also totally do able. I think this might be a good motivating factor for her because she knows that I would be able to do it, so maybe if we do it together she can push herself. She’s asked me for her help, so I feel like it’s the right thing to do. I just want to ACTUALLY be able to help. I think her turning point was finding a dress for my wedding because nothing fit and it made her really frustrated. I just want to be that support for her because I know how hard it is to loose weight, and I can’t imagine how difficult it must be with those extra pounds.
@lefeymw: Thank you also 🙂 I think maybe writing in a physical diary might be good for her. I’ve got us both on myfitnesspal.com already so she can see her calorie intake, but the diary might help a bit better for the emotional side of things.
Great ideas so far 🙂
Post # 6
i wanted wanted to chime in and say that i started at 251 a little over a year ago… and i do weight watchers…. it has changed my life…. ive lost a little over 52 lbs and counting… it may be an option for your cousin as well and it is a great support group too!
Post # 7
@Miss Polka Dot Bride: love what you had to say! 🙂
Post # 8
I am thrilled to see people start down the road of health, it is such an exciting and emotional journey to start upon.
In June 2008 I was at my heaviest (300+) and went on our annual family trip to Yosemite. Although I had done the mist trail to the top of vernal falls a million times before and even much more difficult backpacking adventures I couldn’t even make it the 3/4 miles to the footbridge and had to turn back I was so heavy and out of shape. That was the bottom, the turning point so to speak, that pushed me to make a huge change.
Although it didn’t happen right away in October 2008 I started cutting out bad foods that I often over indulged in and starting to break my addictions to the fattier options and replaced those cravings with healthier snacks like hummus, carrots, apples, cherries etc. It has been two years since I have eaten a donut because I simply no longer crave them.
I also started exercising a little at first with daily walks etc. Now I run and play volleyball around 30 hours a week and I am truly addicted to being active. The old me could never have kept up with the the new more fit me.
I am a little over two years out from my starting point and I have lost 120 pounds. I am now a size 12/14 and I feel amazing. I just did Half Dome last week for the second year in a row (an 11 hour very intense hike) and I felt great when it was done. I rode my bike all over the Yosemite Valley without feeling winded and couldn’t wait to get up and go on our next adventure.
I know that it is hard and at first you can’t imagine your life without those delicious foods you crave. While you don’t have to cut them out completely one must learn how to control portion sizes and how often we eat them. I don’t count calories, never really did, I just know what is healthy and what isn’t (don’t we all???).
It is a difficult but rewarding journey that I am still on in order to maintain my weight loss. It is worth every tear, frustration and craving to be where I am now.