Dorothy, Age 55
|"I'm healthier now than I've ever been in my life!" - Dorothy Baume|
|Highest weight: 236 lbs.
Current weight: 116 lbs.
Total weight lost: 120 lbs.
Time it took to lose the weight: 6 years
Has kept it off for: 13 years
|Dorothy 6 Years Ago
My weight has been a lifelong problem for me. The first time I went on a diet, I was in 9th grade. By the time I graduated high school, I was 150 pounds. I tried a commercial weight loss program on and off over the years, but I only almost reached my goal weight one time. I tried other things, like seeing a dietitian, but I guess my head wasn't in the right place.
I went back to a commercial weight loss program again in 1993. I was turning 40 and had gone through a divorce. I was so unhappy with my life. I would come home from work, eat, watch television, go to bed, and the cycle would start all over again the next day. I finally realized that if I didn't do anything to change my ways I would never see another 40 years.
When I went to my 20th high school reunion, everybody had aged tremendously. I had been the heavy, fat kid in high school – but there I was, the most fit person in the room!
How I Did It
I followed the commercial weight loss plan, but this time I added physical activity. I was so heavy, but I would go to the mall after work and walk for 10-15 minutes. Now, I can walk in my neighborhood for two hours.
I watched my portions and started eating balanced meals for the first time. I had to learn a new behavior pattern, including knowing when I was full or hungry. I started taking an exercise class at the local hospital, and I walk when I can. When I don't exercise, I make sure I balance it by eating fewer calories.
The weight started coming off. With every 10-20 pounds I lost, I got rid of those clothes that were now too big on me. I did not want to make it easy for me to go backwards this time — I didn't want to go back. I think maybe I have an old pair of jeans, but I have no idea where they are!
Re-educating myself about how to eat, and changing my behavior. I used to take a box of cookies and plop down in front of the TV. Now, I try to fill up on veggies and fruit.
Maintaining the Weight Loss
I finally faced the fact that this is something I have to do for the rest of my life. I've worked too hard to go back. Every good check-up from my doctor reaffirms what I'm doing.
The Biggest Thrill
I have a whole new life in many ways. I feel better and am healthier than I've ever been. I can wear nice clothes and feel good in them. I have choices now when I buy clothes. It's no longer, "This looks okay, how many colors does it come in?"
Strategies That Work For Me
- I weigh myself regularly, probably 2-3 times a month. It's a lot easier to address a 2-3 pound weight gain than 10 pounds.
- Getting some kind of physical activity. I walk whenever I can and take an exercise class.
- I drink water constantly. I keep a 32-ounce mug at my desk and refill it at least twice a day. Having it at my desk is a visual reminder of what I'm trying to accomplish.
- Rewarding myself at various milestones. When I feel really good about something, I will reward myself by buying a CD, a new book, or I will get my nails done. I no longer reward myself with food.
- Page last reviewed: May 15, 2015
- Page last updated: May 15, 2015
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