What Have You Done About Your Fat Ass?

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I've decided to lose weight for the millionth time. Back when I was in college and after I managed to get pretty skinny--to the point of anorexia at one point, actually, but since around 1990 I've just been ballooning up like a, well, a balloon.

How have you lost weight, or have you just decided that you are happy in your skin?

-- Kymm (hedgehog@hedgehog.net), June 15, 2000


It's very sad but very true that the only successful way to lose weight is to burn off more calories than you consume every day. At the risk of chanelling Oprah, Bob Greene, or God forbid that psychotic bald woman, the best way to do that is to exercise. It's a tragic truth. I loathe exercise down to the core of my being, but it's just the only way.

Fad diets work to a point, but the second you go back to a normal way of eating, you find yourself right back where you started. I know this, because I've done them.

I think the only sane way to do it is just to be reasonable. Completely giving up any food group is asinine to me, because once you forbid yourself something, the basic nature of a human being is to want it even more -- which means that we will break down and eat that bagel on the Atkins diet or whatever we're not "supposed" to eat and then consider ourselves total failures.

People who want to "lost weight fast" are not acting in their own best interest. Did it take you a month to gain that X number of pounds? No? Then you shouldn't expect yourself to lose it in a month, either. Take it off slowly, and it will stay off. That's what's always worked best for me, anyway.

-- dora (dora@wordsdiminish.com), June 15, 2000.

I am decidedly not happy with my weight. At 5'5", I should only be packing around so much, but these days after several years of health problems and a year of depression (both of which are now, thankfully, under control)I find myself with an extra 70 lbs. that is resiliant to all efforts.

For me, I can nudge that needle leftward if I avoid wheat (allergy), beef (fat), and drink lots of water. The second I think D-I-E-T, I gain weight. And it doesn't matter What I eat! So, I live on fruit & vegetables - mostly raw, which is cool 'cause this time of year there's lots of variety.

Still looking for the answer...

-- Mary Hebard (mahebard@oregonvos.net), June 15, 2000.

I've found I get fairly astonishing results from just not eating myself sick. Like, deciding to stop eating before I feel uncomfortably full. Unfortunately I keep forgetting to do that.

-- Beth (beth@xeney.com), June 15, 2000.

I have a horrible history of not behaving in the most sensible way when it comes to food- starving myself, binging/purging, etc. That went on for years and years. Eventually I got to a point where I had more control over other aspects of my life and was able to stop it.

For the past two years, I haven't done anything- I've eaten whatever I wanted and not regularly exercised. I realized that I was eating fairly well balanced, healthy foods though and I maintained the same weight for those two years. This was what allowed me to decide to lose weight- the idea that if I just added exercise to what was already a sensible way of eating, then I wouldn't have to worry about gaining back whatever weight I lost plus some.

For the past two months, I've been exercising at least six days a week and other than a few substitutions (no butter, no soda, way less cheese), I've eaten what I ate for the last two years. And I have been losing weight- hopefully weight that I won't regain.

The main reason I've been doing this isn't because I'm so unhappy in my skin (I've worried less about my appearance over the last two years than ever before, even at my lowest weights) but because I'm coming up on 30 and I want to be healthy and strong. I want to feel capable in all aspects of my life.

-- Moira (profundum@yahoo.com), June 15, 2000.

I've found that even if I utterly starve myself, I won't lose weight unless I also exercise.

My other big dieting trick is eating only fruit for dinner (and normal stuff for the other two meals). A hidden benefit to this high-fiber meal is that it, uh, clears you out, and makes you feel less bloated and thinner. I find it's much easier to stick with a diet if you feel like you're actually making progress.

-- Jennifer Wade (jenwade@earthlink.net), June 15, 2000.

I think we must be built alike, Kymm. I'm tall, and heavier than I look. I've been described as "solid," which I think is an attempt to nicely say I'm built like a linebacker. I diet, sure, and exercise, and my body very stubbornly stays exactly the same. I think it just likes itself the way it is -- I am not so fond of it, though.

-- Mary Ellen (sarcasticah@yahoo.com), June 15, 2000.

I've lost weight (75 pounds), gained weight back and figured out life is too short and learned to be happy as I am, so I guess I've got an opinion from all angles.

When I lost weight I did so by cutting out snacks and junk food and eating less. When I just had to snack, I chose fruit and didn't restrict myself on how much I ate, reasoning that it's still better than the chips or cookies I snacked on before. After awhile the occasional stomach growling became empowering and I rarely needed anything between meals. I added moderate exercise (walking a couple miles a day) and lost two pounds a week like clockwork. I really believe the only good way to lose is to eat pretty much everything you like, just less, and exercise.

Just before Thanksgiving I joined the YMCA and began lifting weights twice a week and in five or six weeks I saw a difference in the way my body looked and the way my clothes fit. I wholeheartedly suggest weights as a way to begin because once you see those results it's instantly easier to add more exercise and modify your eating habits.

With your schedule, Kymm, I know you don't have time for the gym, but if you can set aside 20 minutes twice a week, you'll get results.

I don't mean to sound like Denise Austin here; I've just found this has worked well for me so I wanted to pass along the info.

All the best,


-- Marcia (synenergy@hotmail.com), June 15, 2000.

One of the really helpful things, in my opinion, is to journal what you eat. No, I don't mean tell us every day what you eat ;), but to record it somewhere. There's a diary you can use at Dietwatch, and it's free. They have a bunch of bulletin boards there, too. Also, check out Cyberdiet. There's lots of good stuff there. I like eDiets, too, but it costs ($10 a month). You can talk to dieticians, they have online meetings, etc.. It's nice. Can you tell I'm going through this same thing right now? Heh.

So I would suggest: 1) journal your food, 2) cardio 30 minutes a day, at least four days a week (preferably five or six), 3) DRINK that water (at least 8 glasses), 4) Add some strength training, and lastly 5) take your 'before' measurements. When the scale doesn't move it's nice to see that you are, indeed, losing inches.

-- Stephanie (sneener@yahoo.com), June 15, 2000.

Former Fatty McFatster here...

Since December, I've lost about 30 pounds, and kept it off. I've been eating somewhat badly the past few weeks, but havn't gained anything, I think because of the regular exercise program that's become a regular part of my daily routine.

I think the "don't eat so much and exercise more" weight loss plan is the only way to go. Everyone I know who did the no-carbo thing has gained back the weight. Everyone who did the 100-bagels-and-no-fat thing has gained back the weight.

It's still amazing to me that I'm not as heavy as I was. I constantly run my hand over my jawline (which I didn't used to have, as my face conveniently ran right into my neck) and my stomach (which just isn't there anymore), thinking I'll balloon back up any day now.

Best of luck, Kymm! I'm not rolling my eyes at you, since this past diet was the 97th diet I've tried in 4 years, and this one finally stuck!

-- Patrick (xingcat@yahoo.com), June 15, 2000.

I've started biking again, in part to help a friend train for a charity ride in a few months, but also because I am tired of feeling like Robba the Hutt. The thing is, I also eat sort of badly, like how a child would eat all the time if his parents weren't around. And I've accepted that my eating habits are unlikely to change (I love food, oh yes I do), so my only hope is to increase my physical activity before I turn into a big gelatinous blob of goo...

Whoops! Too late!

-- Rob Rummel-Hudson (rhudson@digitalism.com), June 15, 2000.

You had to do it, didn't you. You HAD to bring up dieting, just when I'm at a point where I'm trying to gear myself up into starting a diet, and wondering if I have enough courage to announce that in my journal. You want dieting history? I'll give you dieting history.

I was put on my first diet at age 10. It was wonderfully successful and for some reason through my teens I seemed to be able to eat anything I wanted and not gain weight. Then I got married. And pregnant. I spent the next 10 years either pregnant or nursing or both and just gave up. My weight started creeping up, then leaping up, and finally just blowing up all together. I saw numbers I never dreamed I'd see.

I went on a diet. Lost 100 lbs. Woo hoo! I was normal again. Then my best friend died. I didn't care. I wanted to commit suicide, but couldn't do the traditional things, so I made a conscious decision to eat myself to death. I found out that it's not possible, but I learned you can eat enough so that by the time you get through the heavy grief, you've passed the point of no return.

A year ago I had to admit I was heavier than most heavyweight boxers or a defensive lineback. it was time to get serious. I went back on a diet and was doing SO well, had lost 30 lbs and was in committed diet mode. And then our son died.

I am too embarrassed to step on a scale again. I have a clue how much, but I don't want to see the numbers. However, the time is coming when I simply have to make life altering decisions. Life is good right now, I'm doing things I love to do and I want to live for several more years. I need to work on giving myself a fighting chance.

As for dieting methods, in earlier years I've tried fad diets, but the only thing that has worked consistently for me is Weight Watchers--not the meetings. I detest the meetings. But following the diet has been very successful for me.

Now can I just convince myself that it's time to start it yet again...

-- Bev Sykes (basykes@dcn.davis.ca.us), June 15, 2000.

Okay, coming out of left field here...

I know I had huge issues with my body weight until I started dealing with Stuff I Didn't Want to Face (tm), primarily that there is no way no how, even at 120# I would ever be society's idea of a woman.

Once I got that through my thick head at 26, my weight went almost like magic from 240 to 215 ...but more importantly I suddenly found in my jam-packed schedule that there was in fact time to exercise, and I ended up bulking up muscle (that was a goal, not an unwanted side effect) and went from a women's size ready-to-pop-out-of-a-24, to a men's 36 (roughly a women's 14). I'm still heavier than I want to be, but I'm happier, and I definitely am not pining away at home in front of the tube all alone. Well, I don't watch TV, but you get the idea.

I do have to say that I will take up the banner of "channeling the psycho bald chick" as someone said, and say that the bald chick has a point: Just MOVE. Even if you don't go to a gym, you can move a lot more than you probably are. Sure, you'll feel like a dork walking from the living room to the kitchen swinging your arms in circles, but you'll feel better (fast!) and it will help.

Good luck. Hm. I may start a diet w/ you. Maybe all of us griping about our weight should join you. ::looking around for agreement::

-- Tynan Power (ty@power-lines.com), June 15, 2000.

i know exactly what you're talking about, kymm! i've been trying to lose weight for a few years now and nothing has worked (well, except fen-phen). i started an on-line diet journal in the hopes that it would encourage me to stick to the diet and exercise routine i decided on, but nearly twenty weeks into it, i'm about to "start over" and "try again" for the third time! (don't they say "the third time's the charm? let's hope it's true!) anyway, i'm just trying to eat less, and not after 8 p.m. (i'm a chronic late-night eater; i just can't fall asleep with a rumbly tummy!), and get into the gym after work every day. I was hoping to be looking a lot better by now, but i guess i'll have to go for looking nice in the new fall fashions, rather than tee-shirts and shorts this summer(which is too bad since it's going to be 115 again today)! whatever diet/exercise you decide to go for, kymm, i wish you the very best of luck! keep us updated, won't you? cheers! your faithful reader (well, one of them, anyway!), hez

-- hez (summer-girl@butterflytattoos.com), June 15, 2000.

Well, I did the low-carb thing and it has been very successful for me. I have been doing it so long now that I don't even think about it much anymore. I started in Dec of 98 and have lost 80 pounds. I am far from thin, but a decent size 12. About a month ago, I started exercising - weights and some aerobic activity and I can really tell the difference in how my clothes fit and how I feel.

-- Van (Makeitsimple_2000@yahoo.com), June 15, 2000.

Well, I only had to lose 13 pounds, but it went pretty quickly. I think it's best not to make extreme changes, because that seems to lead to dropping the whole idea in favor of a nice binge of twinkies and chocolate pie. So here's what I did:

- Switched to diet soda, because going off caffeine while on a diet is a bitch. If you're really attached to regular soda, I'd suggest either tapering down to only one per day, or mixing half diet, half regular.

- Started eating low-fat food, but NOT non-fat. For example, the "1/3 less fat" cream cheese is perfectly fine, but the fat-free kind is bland and awful, kind of like spreading soft, yet gritty plastic on your bagel. Going from full-fat to non- is torturous and unnecessary.

- Did light exercise for twenty minutes, three times a week, because some exercise is better than none.

- Drank lots of water, especially just before eating.

- Oh, and I kickstarted the whole thing by taking appetite suppressants for the first week. I don't recommend taking them for extended periods of time, but they really helped with breaking my habit of eating large portions, often.

-- Ann Monroe (monroe@chorus.net), June 15, 2000.

I have to say, Weight Watchers worked wonders (wwww) for me. But the most fabulous thing about it was that my boyfriend went with me (the whole thing was his idea, dear lord) since he had more to lose than I did. We both saw CONSIDERABLE results in the first ten weeks, I felt great and then, um, stopped going.

As a result, since March I've gained back every single pound I lost. Doh. But now I know the drill and what I need to do: Eat Smaller Portions. Drink Water. Treat Yourself To a Cookie Occasionally. Less Beer. Less Snacking. Cut Out the Really Refined Sugar (ie go for the oatmeal raisin over the M&Ms, at least there's SOME nutritional value as you satisfy your craving). Leave a Little Food on the Plate. Exercise. Exercise. Exercise.

If you have a buddy or ten (or a whole forum full, lucky girl) who know about your diet plan, it helps considerably. There's always someone willing to go for a walk, grab a salad, or call when the Ben & Jerry's is rumbling in the freezer. Secret diets don't usually work.

I'm all motivated now.

-- Kate (katebishop@hotmail.com), June 15, 2000.

When starting a new exercise plan, most people (myself included) tend to spend the first six weeks as the self-appointed Queen/King of All in Exercise Land. Then... you know the story. You're tired one day after work, so you promise to work out extra hard on Wednesday if you can stay home and sleep on Monday. On Friday, your friends call and invite you out for a drink after work and you think, "Well... skipping one day won't kill me." Pretty soon you're exercising once every two weeks and feeling perfectly justified in doing so because you're "just too busy".

One of the best bits of advice I've ever heard in regards to this problem is to schedule your sessions in your day planner and treat them as appointments. Schedule your life around these blocks of time as if they were meetings with one of your biggest clients. If you absolutely have to cancel, find a day that week and reschedule as you would with any missed appointment. Even if it's a workout at home on your living room floor. You have to make it important. You have to make it a part of your life.

Another great way to get motivated is to do those stetches, push- ups and crunches in the privacy of your home wearing only your underwear- preferably in front of a mirror. (Gasp) Oh it hurts, but it's worth it. :)

-- Faith (FaithT55@yahoo.com), June 15, 2000.

I have found two things that help me lose weight. One eat with chopsticks, and don't eat after 5 in the evening.

-- Alice (Alice@diarist.net), June 15, 2000.

This is, you should excuse the expression, a weighty issue for me. Basically, I feel good in my skin, but I could stand to lose more than a few pounds. What I really need to do, though, is eat healthier and get some control over what/when/how I eat. I tend to let my emotions get in the way. Bad day at work? Depressed? I tend not to eat at all. When things are going well, I'll eat -- and eat too much to compensate for the times that I haven't been eating.

I think I'll make it a mid-year resolution -- eat healthy.

I agree with the chopsticks recommendation, btw.

-- Laura (lbhelfrich@yahoo.com), June 15, 2000.

It sounds like, as far as exercising is concerned, one of the most evil things in your schedule is... well... your schedule. I'm yet another proponent of the diets-don't-work bandwagon, and think that you should start out by eating exactly what you've been eating, but start getting more exercising. You don't want to startle your body. Let it get used to the idea that you're going to be getting off the bus one or two more stops farther from work each morning (unless you're late, but how often does that happen?) (whoops--forgot whose journal this is...). Go for a walk during lunch. Take a hike around the block when all the smokers go out for a smoke break.

And, if push comes to shove, rumor has it you live fairly close to some people who drive to a dojo regularly... beginning karate classes probably wouldn't kill you; it would just feel that way.

Once you get used to the idea of more exercise, you can start cutting back on the unhealthier snacks and food, and get more healthy stuff in your diet.

-- Colin (ethilrist@prodigy.net), June 15, 2000.

I have always thought I weighed too much. I thought this is high school, but looking back I look pretty skinny. I thought this in college, but looking back...you guessed it. Well, I gained a little less than two pounds a year since college. Maybe one and one half pounds a year. Doesn't sound like much. They say 3600 calories = one pound. So, let's say I ate 5400 calories too much to maintain my weight each year. Well, let me walk down the hall and get a Snicker's and see how many candy bars that would be.

OK, I'm back. I actually had to buy two because they were 50 cents and I only had a dollar and it's a charity project so it's not like they make change. (But I gave one to my friend Ralph who's a chocoholic so it's OK I'm not eating two.) OK...This 2.07 oz or 58.7 gram bar (what's up with that?) has....280 calories. So, each year I unbalanced my machine with the equivalent of nineteen Snickers bars. Sounds like a lot, huh? But it's for a WHOLE YEAR. Put another way, I ate about 15 calories a day more than the machine (my body) needed.

It's a miracle to age thirty years and only gain 45 pounds. What wonderful, finely synchronized machines we are. My body was actually doing a wonderful job of balancing my intake with my metabolic burn.

I weigh 176 (this morning according to my talking scale). I've noticed that in most (all) of the above notes, no one says, "I weigh...." Some people will say what size clothes they wear or how many pounds they gained or lost. I always just put a number on it. There you go.

But think about it: a 15 calorie error a day! Of course, my weight didn't go up in a straight line. It zigged, it zagged. I dieted, I didn't, I got the Snickers, I eschewed it, I drank a Diet instead of a real soda (there is 150 calories or a ten day correction). I have concluded, however, that my body (and perhaps YOUR body) is much more powerfully tuned to its intake and energy expense than we might imagine. Something pretty amazing is going on here. I saw a journal entry in my file the other day from 15 years ago. I weighed 35 pounds less than today (141) but I was obviously dieting and was proud of this low weight. Last summer at this time I weighed about 180. My trend, though, is one or two pounds up on the year.

What's all that say? Well, what if, I could correct for this (eat fifteen calories less a day?) and maybe even overcompensate (walk up a few flights of stairs...that ought to get fifteen calories burned). I would gradually, oh so gradually, go the other way.

Hey, folks. Your body has powerful resources to balance these things. You only have to help a little bit. And...it's OK to say "I weigh xxx." (By the way, I'm about 5'6".) I wish I didn't weigh 176. But I know I'm pretty healthy and, heck, maybe I'll skip the Snickers bar. Here, let's put it in the drawer.

Good luck, Kymm. I like reading your stuff.

-- Linda Ball (linda_ball@lbffp.com), June 15, 2000.

I've requested the post office to give me another zip-just for the arse--;->

-- Karen (kat_rn28@hotmail.com), June 15, 2000.

My body seems to develop an un-natural attachment to any fat it lays down.
I'm lucky in that I don't put it on easily - but it's almost impossible to lose. It doesn't respond to increased exercise or cutting back on food - or else it seems to take so long that after a month I get pissed off and decide if I'm not going to lose weight I may as well eat what I want.
The only time I've ever lost weight was when I was so stressed and upset in my old job that I couldn't eat. I lost about a stone in weight - but to be honest I'd rather be happy now and weighing a bit more then as stressed as I was then.

-- Caoimhe (just_s_b@yahoo.com), June 15, 2000.

I tried the Atkins diet. I lost 12 pounds in two weeks, and it took me over two years to gain it back. I couldn't have done it for more than two weeks, though. All those eggs. All that meat. All that cheese. All that sugar free Jello. I like those things but I was turning into them.

I'm dieting again, because I'm determined to lose those ten pounds, and five more, if I can. I've already lost five. Slowly, but they're coming off. I'm drinking one of those canned diet shakes for breakfast (didn't like them at first, but they've grown on me) and eating a salad for lunch. Dinner is usually a salad or tuna or chicken or something healthy, yummy, but low-fat. I try and get my protein at dinner.

And I TaeBo three times a week. I hate it. My roommate and I are going to start swimming in his parents' pool instead. I hate Billy Blanks. I want to hurt him.

My friend Ellen lost over 40 pounds on Weight Watchers and has kept it all off. We go out and she orders nachos and beer--and then eats sensibly the next day. I have several friends who have had luck with WW, actually.

-- Melissa (centerbeth@yahoo.com), June 15, 2000.

I have to put in my anti-protein diet plug here. I always do, I promise I'm not just picking on Melissa. It's soooo bad for you. The way it works is, according to Medical Boy (my med student brother-in-law, who is very sweet but produces these horrible pieces of information at the drop of a hat), by totally fucking with your body's metabolism. It makes your body unable to properly handle food. If you do it long enough you can induce mild diabetes in yourself. And best of all, when your body runs out of everything that isn't protein it has to start breaking things down in ways that just weren't meant to be. One of the end results is formaldehyde. Could I make this up? Don't do it. I don't want to see any of you nice people pickling yourselves.

-- Jessie (sorokin@alum.mit.edu), June 15, 2000.

OK, OK, I got the Snickers bar out of my drawer and ate it.

-- Linda Ball (linda_ball@lbffp.com), June 15, 2000.

It's amazing how we all think we are so unique, but the thing that most of us have in common is that we think that we could stand to drop a few pounds. Personally, I think that Melissa, for one, is as thin as a rail, but there you go, I don't look out of her eyes.

And of course, my schedule makes exercise impossible, unless I really want to do it, and then I'll make the time. That's how it always is, you know? Of course, I cannot take Colin's advice and get off the bus a couple of stops early, because I take the van in and then walk the 3/4 of a mile to work every day, and getting off early would mean leaping to my death in the middle of the Lincoln Tunnel, and I'm certain that he doesn't want that. I can, however, exercise when I get home or in the morning, and all that means is blowing the dust off of my Tai Bo tapes and clearing some floor space.

Easier said than done, but not impossible.

You know, I once lost 50 pound accidentally, when I was in college. It was great, I wish I could do that again, but it all depends on having a cafeteria to eat in--a cafeteria that closes. You see, I was on the two meal a day plan, so I would have a lumberjack's breakfast around 9a and a tiny dinner at 5p. Dinner opened at 5p, and I was never hungry then, but that's when my friends ate, so I would get a small serving of starch (rice or potatoes or pasta) and eat a little bit. Around 10p I would be ravenous, but I had no food and no money and no choice but to wait until the next morning. It took no willpower, that was just the way it was.

After a few months, I remember shaving my leg and noticing how much less there was to shave, and stepping on the scale only to realize that I had lost 50 pounds. It was astounding. I have tried to repeat this feat many times in the years since, but to no avail. It's so much harder when you have money and a refrigerator.

Last night, though, I made three boxes of sugar free Jell-O, so hopefully when I get home tonight and am starved because I had dinner at 5p, I'll eat that and it will be enough. I wish I still smoked. But not really.

-- Kymm Zuckert (kymmz1@yahoo.com), June 15, 2000.

It always amazes me that every single woman I know wants to lose weight. All of them. Some of them actually are thin as a rail (Kymm, have I mentioned I love you today?) and some are right, they're unhealthily overweight, and some are just like me (want to fit into last year's clothes, or this year's bathing suit, or are just a little unhappy) and some are obsessed with the number and some only hate part of themselves but they all want to lose weight.

AND, in almost all cases, I think they're all beautiful and that they should only lose weight if THEY think they should, and damn what society says. Of course, when they all tell me I'm thin, I look in the mirror and all I see are thighs and butt. So back out comes the diet and the TaeBo tapes.

I wish we could all be happy with our weight. I wish I looked in the mirror and didn't care that some of my skin is dimply and that I can't wear straight-legged anything because of my thighs. I wish that my mother, who used to weigh 120 (when I was younger) and then quit smoking and is now a size 16 would realize that I think she's prettier now.

I know some men are like this. I know I'm rambling and not making much sense, and totally busting my diet wide open right now by eating Kraft Dinner. I don't know why women are like this. I wish I did.

Melissa (who knows that Jessie is right about Atkins and wonders what the long term effects of those people doing it for years will be)

-- Melissa (centerbeth@yahoo.com), June 15, 2000.

I faithfully chronicled everything I ate for a year. At the end of the year, I weighed the same as I did when I began. Was it a lot of effort for nothing? Anyway, since then, I quit eating sugar, in an attempt to see if my joints would feel better. They do seem less achy. I've kept it up for a little two months. It seems worth it. I even lost fifteen pounds. But, alas, I've discovered the joys of peanuts and peanut butter. I'm not losing weight anymore!

However, mostly right now, I'm fairly content in my large size skin.

-- Joan Lansberry (gallae@casagrande.com), June 15, 2000.

Well. I've never been on a real diet, just because losing weight is not important enough to me to make myself miserable. After four years I've finally decided that I look *good* this way. But, if you really want to lose weight, then exercise is the way to do it. The food is important, but nothing like so important as the exercise. Work up a sweat, start panting, all that wonderful stuff. As far as the food goes--don't cut anything out! It's not very good for you, and it just *invites* cravings. Just have small portions of the not-healthy food and huge portions of any healthy food you find that you enjoy. Having a little bit of dessert now will prevent binging later. :)


-- L.C. (AFPN318@aol.com), June 16, 2000.

I'm doing ediets right now and am pretty impressed. They aren't into the fad thing - and they give you lots of options. I have a wicked schedule, so it works out kinda nice for me.

Besides, I've tried everything else.

Curious, when was the first time you all went on a diet? Me? Third grade my mother put me on Weight Watchers. What's really sad is I look at pictures and I wasn't even fat. I weigh 165 now and need to lose about 50 lbs. - 20 of which I gained over the past year under extreme emtional stress. (I pretty proud I only gained 20!) My highest weight was 210 on my 5'3" frame.

-- grace (grace@betterthanfiction.com), June 16, 2000.

Gee, Kymm, all this talk about diets. I dislike them as much as the next person. I too have a weight problem and diets are the bane of my existence. Now I am a diabetic, no fun that, no fun at all. I am on tons of meds for this and that and have the beginning stages of kidney disease. I say learn to eat sensibly and excercise. Move around and get the excess off before you get to the stage of life where you no longer have the option of eating whatever you want, when you want. Diabetes is not fun; I am still struggling with the weight but with a lot of health issues in the way, it is harder than ever. Lose it now, in a healthy steady manner. You can do it, I am rooting for you kiddo. I am hanging in there as well, no fuddy-duddy here. But I really hate not being able to eat chocolate or what ever I want when I want it. Now my regimen is out of my hands. Got to watch daily intakes, sugar highs and lows, etc. So get healthy now Kymm, lose the weight and learn to really like some sort of excercise. You are on the right road when you prefer walking than taking a cab or bus. Hang in there with this diet thing, you can do it. By the way, I was always a bit overweight, but a bout with chemo and all really messed up my body something fierce. My diet didn't change after, but my metabolism did.

-- Jackie (gabbydink@webtv.net), June 16, 2000.

Whenever anything bad happens, I stop eating. I don't really recommend it as a diet though.

I have always found that eating less is more important than exercise for losing weight. Exercise has just not done it for me. Maybe it makes me hungrier and I eat more and only burn off the excess intake. I do exercise, but I do it for the health benefit rather than the weight-loss benefit.

Okay, maybe it does have an indirect weight loss benefit. The more physical I am, the more I feel connected to my body, and want to treat it well and help it look good.

I drink diet soda. Eliminates about 150 calories for each one you have, and if you're used to drinking soda, makes you feel less deprived than only drinking water. Drink water too, but it doesn't have to be the only thing you drink.

Becoming a vegetarian helped me lose weight too.

I find that fad dieting works quite well, as long as you only do it to get a jumpstart, then start eating the healthy stuff after you've lost some weight, rather than feeling that you can eat anything. Of course, since I have always been more of a snacker than a meal-eater, that healthy stuff part doesn't always come easy for me.

I have a hard time with my weight/body image, because I think I look good and look bad at every weight. Some parts of the body look better with extra weight, some look better with not as much weight. I won't get any more specific than that :) And no amount of exercise and weight training seems to shift the balance.

I never dieted until I was about 30. I was never overweight until my very late 20s, and when I started to gain weight, I didn't really know how to deal with it since I had always eaten whatever I wanted. But my weight kept going up and up, and I had to do something, so I finally did diet.

Obviously, different things work for different people. I hope you find what works for you. Good luck!

-- Catherine (catcoicrit@earthlink.net), June 16, 2000.

You know what really matters at the end of the day? It's that you're healthy, not what size is on your clothes tags. So as you get started, try to look at the big picture -- are you eating the kinds of foods that will nourish your body and eating enough to give you the energy you need, and are you moving enough to keep your body strong? If you have to change your lifestlye a little bit to be able to say yes to either of these things, then chances are you will lose some weight, but even if you don't lose as much as you would like, you're going to be more healthy and that's worth a lot.

-- Marcia (synenergy@hotmail.com), June 16, 2000.

Hey, Grace...at least you can SAY how much you weigh.

And that Snickers bar and the big French meal I had last night made my talking scale say 177 this morning. Argh!

-- Linda Ball (linda_ball@lbffp.com), June 16, 2000.

I honestly can't say, it's too revolting. However, I have lost three pounds in the last two days just by not eating at night!

-- Kymm (kymmz1@yahoo.com), June 16, 2000.

I remember 177.


-- Bev Sykes (basykes@dcn.davis.ca.us), June 16, 2000.

Are you kidding? I'd sacrifice my mother to the weight gods to be 177!

-- Kymm (kymmz1@yahoo.com), June 16, 2000.

I'm not so much portly as I am just plain out of shape. The last couple of weeks I've started on the blast-from-my-past RCAF 5BX exercise plan. Just 11 minutes per day, with a gradual increase in the quantity and difficulty of the exercises. I'm at the end of my second week, I've lost 5 pounds and I already feel more fit physically.

There's also a 10BX plan for the ladies. Unfortunately the books are out of print, but you could get lucky and find a copy on eBay, like I did.

-- Ron Collings (dragon@crescentschool.org), June 16, 2000.

In the past two years I've lost 30lbs. 15lbs each year.

While I'd rather be able to take it all of quickly, this slow thing is easy for me and my body to come to terms with. I haven't put anything back on.

So, if I only manage to lose 15lbs a year, I'll be thankful for that and look forward to the day I turn 50 and finally weigh what I want to (just joking, it shouldn't take that long.).

-- Jackie (jackie@jackie.nu), June 16, 2000.

I've lost 23 pounds in the past year by doing the following things:

  1. Switching from regular Pepsi to Pepsi One (the only "diet" soda I can stand
  2. Alternating every bottle of Pepsi One with one or two bottles of water
  3. Not buying any food that takes less time to prepare than microwave popcorn (i.e. chips and such) because preparation time gives me time to reflect on if I'm really hungry. Also, I'm really lazy so I won't prepare food unless I'm actually hungry. The exception to this rule is fresh fruit and vegetables.
  4. Trying to be more conscious of portion size, and not feeling guilty if I don't clean my plate, especially in restaurants

That's about it. No drastic lifestyle changes, and the weight loss has been really slow, but steady, and it's all been going in the downward direction. I figure if I want it to happen more quickly, I can start exercising regularly (I do it haphazardly now).

I can relate to Kymm's poor in college weight loss plan. I lost about 30 lbs one summer because I couldn't afford food. I ate Chicken and Stars soup every day for lunch and a baked potato with sour cream for dinner every day for three months. I'm surprised I didn't get rickets or something. Everyone thought I was anorexic, and I was like, "No, I'm really not! Just buy me some groceries and I'll eat!"

-- Kim (fresh@fresh-hell.com), June 16, 2000.

Baby carrots. I swear to god, they are a life saver. I eat compulsively while I work -- I can't just sit and read for hours; I need something to occupy my hands. So I eat. And baby carrots are better than Doritos.

I also drink water or tea or coffee, no soda at all, because it makes me feel bloated and sick. The nice thing about not drinking soda is that on the rare occasion when I do have one, it's like a special treat, the way it was when I was a kid. (We rarely got soda, really only when we went out for fast food, which happened once every two or three years, I think.) If I go out for lunch, I might have iced tea or lemonade, but usually just water. I drink two 24 ounce bottles of water every day at work, and several glasses at home, and water with every meal.

Left to my own devices I'd have a big breakfast, a medium sized lunch, and something like fruit or salad for dinner, but I like eating with Jeremy, and he can't eat much in the morning. So usually I have a small, high-fiber breakfast, a medium sized lunch (salad, or a low fat sandwich, or leftovers from dinner), and a good sized but low fat dinner. I snack all day long no matter what, though, so I try to keep healthy stuff around -- fruit, chopped veggies, salad in a bag, V8, that kind of thing.

-- Beth (beth@xeney.com), June 16, 2000.

I suspect the reason it sound like everyone wants to lose weight is because no one else is talking. I've never been on a diet and I don't plan to start, but that sounds so smug.

In college I lost thirty pounds my freshman year, with the result that when I went home my parents gave me double portions. They thought I was going to die. My stepmom will be happy to write me a letter of reference saying I was pale and weak and sickly and looked like I'd had mono or something. I kept getting really busy and forgetting to eat and losing four pounds, and then I'd never gain it back. But I gained ten or fifteen pounds in the two months after I finished school, and I've stayed at exactly the same point for three and a half years. The funny thing is, I've managed to gain muscle, not gain weight, and not get any smaller. I am the only person in the world who has muscle that is actually less dense than fat. That's the only way I can explain it.

-- Jessie (sorokin@alum.mit.edu), June 16, 2000.

I'm about 5'4". I think height has a lot to do with what a normal weight is. No woman 5'8" should be 110 pounds!

I was 130 when I went to college in 1989. Not thin as a rail, but thin enough that I turned heads (big boobs does that!).

During college I creeped up and down due to varying amounts of money for food and time for exercise. I don't know when it happened, but I found myself hovering around 150. Nothing I ate changed that, and no amount of exercise chanced that either. Off and on I'd try to do something about it but I always gave up because I didn't get results.

It turned ugly when Al Bundy left me in 1996. At first I couldn't eat and I was excercising all the time. Then the real depression set in and I ate all the time. Late that year when I started dating Dave we went out to eat all the time.

Before I had any idea what was happening I was 176. Not a huge fat cow, but way more than I wanted to be for being only 5'4". For a while nothing worked and then I did Atkins for three months.

Bam, I lost weight. Went down as far as 142 but I'm sure it happened too fast for my body to handle. Since then (about 1.5 years) I've been about 150 pounds.

I don't think I look hideous at this weight but I would prefer to be 140. And I only want it because I feel more comfortable in my clothes that way. I've long since given up the idea that I could be as thin as my sister (probably a buck ten soaking wet) and I don't even want it.

These days I'm not dieting, per se, but I have made changes to my regular eating habits. I think that's the only way to lose weight or keep weight off -- change your regular habits. I try to cut out most sugar and I try to eat more balanced meals. I was a pepsi addict who liked to eat potatoes or bread excusively for every meal.

Now it's diet soda, water, iced tea with equal, or sugar free kool aid to drink. For breakfast I try to have fruit or something besides a bagel. For lunch I have salad most of the time, but sometimes protein or a small sandwich. If I'm going to have bread or potatoe it's usually at lunch. For dinner I have meat and veggie usually, but sometimes I have a carb too. I try to avoid snacks all together and it's not so hard once you get used to it.

Basically it's the eat less, no excess sugar, don't have too much of any one thing diet. I do slip up and have a cookie or a regular soda once in a while but the key is that it's once in a while. If I have a particularly bad food day I'm extra careful the next day.

I'm listening to Bridget Jones' Diary on tape right now and it fits right in with this discussion. She basically gains and loses the same ten pounds over and over again. Which is what I've been doing for the last year or so. Since I've been doing this diet I've described the high number I'm reaching seems to be getting lower and lower. For a while it was 156 and now it's 150.

I do think sugar is a big part of the problem though.

So good luck Kymm, from one pepsi addict to another. I used to be just as bad as you describe yourself and I have learned to drink diet pepsi. At first it tastes like utter shit but I got used to it by starting to drink other diet sodas (root beer, orange, ginger ale, etc) and then diet pepsi tasted pretty good and regular pepsi tasted too sweet. I still love it, but i only have it on a rare occassion.

I suggest starting slow. Work you way down to just one pepsi a day, keep an eye on your portions, etc. Small changes will make it easier to stick to it. And I fully agree that having some success keeps you going at it.

-- Colleen (triggirl@yahoo.com), June 16, 2000.

I need to lose 35 lbs. I went to a dietician yesterday, and she put me on a protien diet. It is incredibly restrictive with what you can eat and I have to take special vitamins and eat their food. I was a little bit weary at first, it sounds like a fad diet that could kill you, but I know a few people who have been on this diet and have been successful. I think going to a doctor (she has a medical school phd) takes a lot of the guess work out of what will help you lose weight and what foods to avoid. Also you have to answer to someone every week and they make sure your heartbeat is regular etc and that you are following it correctly in order to lose fat and not muscle.

I need to do something about this problem now and not wait until I gain another 10-20 lbs at which point I just won`t care anymore.

I recommend to see a doctor (dietician).

-- Sonja Graci (davidson@aei.ca), June 16, 2000.

This is my little diet trick, and I found it incredibly helpful. Instead of just watching the scale, I took body measurements. Shin, upper thigh, hips, belly, waist, chest, bust, upper arm, and wrist measurements the day I started. I kept each measurement, plus I also added them all together to one number. Every couple of days, I would remeasure, and re-add, and I kept a chart for comparison, to track how many inches in total I had lost. It was way more satisfying than watching the scale, and I found it very motivating to be able to say I had lost x number of inches, instead of x number of pounds.

I need to lose weight now. I just checked out a fitness program. Ugh.

-- Kristin Thomas (kristin@sperare.com), June 16, 2000.

I've been reading a while but I never had anything interesting to share until now... I lost fifty pounds on Weight Watchers. They really emphasize changing how you think about food, not just changing what you eat. I've gained most of it back in the past eight months, but only because I'm pregnant! For me, losing weight has been something I knew I should have done for a long time (5'2" and maxed out at 215 pounds). But it wasn't until my husband and I decided it was almost time to have kids that I really _did_ something about it. I wanted to be as healthy as I could be getting into this...

-- Julie V (vandenboom@msn.com), June 16, 2000.

Uh, Colleen, I'm 5'8" and weigh 108-111 pounds, and I'm still quite normal. Just as some people naturally tend to be heavy, others also naturally tend to be thin. Those who tend to either end of the bell curve have to put up with the same types of ignorant remarks, by the way -- e.g. "No one should weigh that much." "She must not be eating sensibly." "She must have some emotional problems that have given her Issues with food."

Anyway... one aspect of weight that there's a bit of media speculation about is why Americans tend to be so much fatter than their European counterparts. No one can say that the English and French eat a low- carb, low-fat diet (what with the pub culture and chocolate eclairs, respectively), yet American asses are the butt of jokes the world over. The most sensible explanation I've seen is that it's not part of the European culture to chug down quarts of carbonated sugar-water. One of my exes just cuts Coke out of his diet whenever his pants start getting too tight. Small changes can end up doing a lot for you. I once gained a couple pounds just by living up the street from a place that had irresistibly good chocolate milkshakes.

One last thing: I refuse to believe that any woman over the age of twenty has an undimpled ass. I've got little ripples on the lower parts of my butt and my upper thighs -- this even though you can count my ribs with an unaided eye. If you're dieting with the goal of getting rid of that, you may as well eat all the meatballs you like, because it's not going anywhere.

-- Kim Rollins (kimrollins@yahoo.com), June 17, 2000.

There are lots of good strategies listed here, and I intend to try a few of them out. One thing that worked for me was to write everything down, and then look at it after a couple of weeks to see what you're really eating. Junk food binges, lack of vegetables, and other problems will all become visible that way. And think as much about adding good things to your diet as taking away "bad" things. I hardly ever ate fruit and vegetables, and found that when I added the recommended serving amounts to my daily intake, even if I told myself I could still eat whatever junk I wanted, I just didn't have the desire any more.

But, let's face it, we all know what you need to do to lose enough weight to get to a healthy level (as opposed to a fashion-model level, which is just not realistic for most people). Even the "high- tech" diets that claim to help you recombine your amino acids or avoid allergenic foods or whatever usually, at the end of the day, end up simply eliminating a lot of high-calorie foods from your daily intake. So, if it's that simple, why don't we do it? You hear a lot of people say that they lost a lot of weight at Weight Watchers--or whatever--and then just stopped going. Why do people stop doing something that is helping them achieve something they want?

I found that I was only able to stick to WW's very sensible eating plan after I got into therapy and faced a lot of tough emotional issues. These included the fact that being overweight had given me an excuse for a lot of things, not to mention a way of avoiding close emotional ties with people, and that, on some level, I was hamstringing myself because I didn't think I was worthy of a full life. I'm still dealing with these things--but not by eating.

-- Freyjah (freyjah@hotmail.com), June 17, 2000.

Well, I've lost 11kgs (lbs ???) by stopping eating when I'm full. As in, only eating half the sandwich, half the burger, and half the piece of cake. The moment I feel not hungry any more I put the food down and take it away. My problem is that I love food soooo much that I keep eating when I don't need to, just for the taste. So I stopped that, and the weight started disappearing. I still eat 4-5 meals a day, they're just much smaller. Oh and I took up roller blading once a week. That's it.

-- Diane (dianeh@powerup.com.au), June 17, 2000.

11kg is about 25lbs.

You are right about the whole "there are reasons why you weigh what you weigh" thing, I have always known that. Barring illness or glandular trouble, and taking genes into consideration, I truly believe that one is fat because one wants to be fat.

You might think you don't want to be, but if you didn't, I mean if you really didn't, you wouldn't be. A friend of mine who is a very large man fully admits that his weight is his armour, that if someone is interested in him sexually, he thinks there is something wrong with them, but also that if they aren't, there is this really obvious reason why they wouldn't be, so he doesn't have to fix anything else. And you don't have to fear intimacy when you won't let anyone get close, because you have made yourself so ugly that they wouldn't.

Well, there's a thought.

It's all a shield, it's all protection, but when you decide that you want the thing that you are protecting yourself from, maybe then you can do something about the weight.

-- Kymm Zuckert (kymmz1@yahoo.com), June 17, 2000.

Before I uh ... fell off the bandwagon so to speak (disruption of moving, what can I say)

This (http://www.strongwomen.com), was working for me.

I starting lifting weights and working little bits of exercise back into my daily life -- walking up the stairs instead of using the elevator, stretching at my desk and shifting my largest meal to breakfast or lunch and eating as little as possible for dinner without skipping a meal (most often, salad and maybe some soup or a small sandwich).

The hardest part was stop munching in front of TV. I never realized how much I was eating as I munched away, even on healthy things like fruit and nuts, or even just ordinary bread.

Getting to the gym on a regular basis was tough too.

I recently purchased a set of "BodyLastics" though -- rubber resistance bands that I can use at any time, anywhere and we now live in a town where I can walk to get to everything, and my house is full of steep stairs, so a minimum of aerobic exercise is now a part of my day.

Next step -- start biking to work regularly and get back on my "diet" plan.

-- Beth K. (owl@littleowl.com), June 18, 2000.

Unless you have some sort of personal mark of poundage, I think that going by scale numbers is well-nigh useless. As Kim said, some people are naturally lighter than others. Now, me, I'm 5'3", and if I weighed 108 pounds, people would think I was some sort of concentration camp victim; my Polish bones weigh more than that, without any flesh on them at all.

I think I'm presently about 180 pounds, and I'm definitely too large, but the other problem is that I've stopped exercising and got soggy. There was a while when I did the allergy-free diet and weighed 130 for the first time since I was fourteen, but looking at pictures from back then, I had a haggard appearance that wasn't at all flattering, for all that I could fit into a size ten skirt.

I went back into the size ten a few years after that, when I was doing heavy weights, and at that point I weighed 160 -- Polish peasant muscles. I looked a whole heck of a lot better though.

Point is, don't look at the scale. Look in the mirror, check the waistbands, eat healthy food, don't stress about it. Life's too short.

-- Katharine (radix@ican.net), June 18, 2000.

This is a funny thing to write right after the very sensible "don't pay attention to scale numbers" post, but I have ost another pound and a half, making me down 4 1/2 pounds since Wednesday! And this is just by not eating at night and cutting down to two sodas a day rather than five. I haven't even started excersising more yet! I even has an ice cream on Friday, when it was so hot, as a treat, I'm just not having sweets every day.

I'm very pleased.

-- Kymm (kymmz1@yahoo.com), June 18, 2000.

I dropped 12 pounds by switching to Diet Pepsi.

So I have actually given up the two things in the world I said that I would do over my dead body: cigarettes and my Pepsi.

The only way I was able to do it was Diet Mountain Dew and Pepsi One for two weeks and then just took the dive and bought only Diet Pepsi for in the house.

Believe me, you will drink that when you have no other Pepsi products to help you out.

And I was drinking a gallon of water a day and that didn't do jack but make me have to run to the bathroom a million times a day. Very aggravating.

-- Renee (justme@justme.org), June 19, 2000.

I lost 10 lbs on the weight watchers 1-2-3 Success plan, and I really do reccommend it... It has a certain points value for the day, and you divide them up over 3 meals and 3 snacks (Not as hard as you think) but I slipped, and now I gained 15lbs back, so for now, I completely cut out soda (which gave me a bitch of a caffeine headache for a day) and am only drinking water.. that's my first step.. I'll then do other things to increase the weight loss as I get used to giving up my first vice (soda)

-- windy (windmistress@sprintmail.com), June 19, 2000.

All you people who've dropped stones of weight by cutting soda from your diet--what a good idea! I think I will too.
Damn. I don't drink soda. What next? All you people who've dropped stones of weight by cutting red meat from your diet--what a good idea! I think I will too.
Damn. I don't red meat (much). What next?

All you people who've dropped stones of weight by cutting chocolate from your diet--what a good idea!

-- Lisa Houlihan (lisa@penguindust.com), June 20, 2000.

What a terrible idea. I've seen you, Lisa, and you're quite thin; drastic measures like giving up chocolate are absolutely not warranted. In fact, I'm not sure such measures are ever warranted.

Or perhaps I'm just in denial.

-- Beth (beth@xeney.com), June 20, 2000.

Don't do anything. I like 'em big...


-- Me (stu_pidasso@home.com), June 20, 2000.

The joke, which I didn't write well, was *supposed* to be that although cutting out chocolate would be as good an idea as cutting out soda and red meat, I wouldn't consider it. That's why I wrote "What a good idea!" but didn't follow it up with "I think I will too."

Thin I am not (but thanks). My friend Bob called me, and I quote, "regular." I like that: it gives me a lot of leeway.

Like a lot of people, including one stellar beauty of a journaler who posts nude photographs of herself, I am a lot better looking with clothes on than without.

-- Lisa Houlihan (lisa@penguindust.com), June 20, 2000.

Maybe I should have clarified myself better, I didn't mean to insult you, Kim. I just meant that so many women out there are trying to be thinner than is healthy. People who are naturally that thin are a rarity, but there's nothing wrong with it. My sister is one of those people -- if you saw the two of us together you'd never think we were sisters. All of the rest of us wish we could eat like pigs and stay thin.

Cutting out extra sugar in soda or candy is a great idea. The only thing I reccomend is that whatever changes you make you make for the long term, not the short term. Short term changes just lead to gaining back the weight.

I'm convinced that I kept the weight off that I lost because I didn't go back to my old ways. I still stay away from sugar soda and I no longer have all day carb-fests. Sure, I still do it once in a while but it's not the norm.

-- Colleen (triggirl@yahoo.com), June 20, 2000.

You're right, Kymm, jumping into traffic in the middle of the Lincoln Tunnel ranks right up there with becoming diabetic (my own method) on the list of How Not to Lose Weight.

One thing I haven't seen listed here that might not apply to all stores is to only shop around the outside of the store--most of the stores I've been in put the ingredients around the outside, and the packaged, fat- sugar- and salt-filled foods in the aisles. This ties in with the terrific point above about not eating anything that doesn't require prep time.

As far as exercise goes, the only thing that seems to matter is whether or not you'll do the exercise. I've tried dozens of different kind of exercise, and I've hit on the basic combination that works for me: scheduled, class-oriented, heavy exercise with an instructor I know (it can't just be somebody up at the front of the gym with a microphone leading an aerobics class). Anything else just doesn't work: if I'm deciding when to exercise, or if I'm the only person there, I'm not going to do it, no matter how fun the exercise is. I need that peer pressure, the low-self-esteemish desire to not miss class or let the rest of the class down or disappoint the teacher.

I'm 5'9" and weigh 185. Before I became diabetic, I weighed 195; lost 25 lbs. in two weeks; a year later, I lost another 25 lbs. in another 2-week period. Since then, I've changed my diet, switched to insulin, gotten a brown belt in Shotokan karate and started lifting weights.

-- Colin (ethilrist@prodigy.net), June 21, 2000.

Kim (Rollins) et al.--Another reason besides chugging down sugar water that USAns are fatter than the rest of the world is how sedentary we are. I just read (in a forum or someone's journal? Caoimhe's?) that in A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson gives a statistic that the average distance walked by the average USAn in a week is 1.4 miles. One point four.

And whoever just said that the best exercise is the one you actually do is right on. If you hate the activity that supposed to burn the most calories, you won't do it. I love to swim, and even though I'm not a powerful enough swimmer really to spike my heart rate, I'm there covering distance. Walking doesn't burn much, but I walk 2.7 miles to work every day (and bus home). It's not much but I do it regularly, and that's better than making excuses not to go to step because you hate the instructor.

Absolutely, Colleen: whatever changes anyone makes in her diet must be committed, life-long ones. If you stop drinking Pepsi and having Egg McMuffins for breakfast and therefore lose weight but afterward resume soda and McSwill, the weight'll come back. That's why the word "diet" as it's commonly used is so disastrous.

-- Lisa Houlihan (lisa@penguindust.com), June 21, 2000.

>> That's why the word "diet" as it's commonly used is so disastrous.<<

that's why I've decided to just change my eating habits to something more healthy. I know the pounds will fall off if I just make that change (I'll worry if that's enough when I've shed a ton). I've also announced it in my journal so I won't be able to change my mind.

-- Bev Sykes (basykes@dcn.davis.ca.us), June 21, 2000.

Diet is a dirty word. People hate dieting 'cause it means denying yourself something you love: food. Not to mention the fact that food is all around...commercials, social events, everything is centered around food!

What works for me is eating whatever I like, but in small portions. And as Beth said, stopping before I'm bloated. Let's face it, you can lose weight eating nothing but ice cream, but soon you'd start to feel awful. If I really want that donut for breakfast, by god I eat it, but I don't make a habit of it. And I don't have my regular breakfast with it. If you pay attention to your body, really listen to it, you'll find out you feel so much better if 1) you don't overeat and 2) you eat the good stuff most of the time.

If you love your soft drinks, just cut down on 'em as much as you can. If you deny yourself completely it just makes you want 'em more. If ice cream is your thing (it is mine!) have some once or twice a week. If I told myself I could never have ice cream (or cheeseburgers!) ever again, I'd be a wreck.

I had dieting issues all my life till I realized that the damned things don't work. I'm slender now, and only because of never "pigging out" (hey, put it the frig or take it home, it'll be good tomorrow when you're really hungry) and eating the "bad" stuff occasionally so I don't feel like I've given up anything.

And yes, I agree that exercise is a good thing, but for me it has to be incorporated into something I love doing...waterskiing, horseback riding, walking the dog, etc. Exercising for the sake of exercise is boring.

-- Jody (jody@vilandre.com), June 21, 2000.

The one way that I've lost a lot of weight was traveling in 3rd world countries but I can't really recommend turista as a diet strategy. Seriously, what I do is focus on how my body feels. I'm trying to eat more fruit, for example, and less sugar and get enough exercise (which is really hard with my hectic schedule). The numbers on the scale can take care of themselves. At least until I go through the depressing chore of clothes shopping and manufacturers who mark things so the average woman wears an XL.

-- Miriam H. Nadel (mhnadel@cinenet.net), June 22, 2000.

I'm losing weight right now; I've lost 32 pounds as of my last weighing (June 20), and I have 151 to go. Yes, I've been out of control, but that's changed now. My secret is that I've linked major pain to eating bad, and major pleasure to designing the life and body I want. As a result, I've stopped eating all the foods that were once killing me, and am eating loads of healthy things now. At the risk of showing bad form and advertising on a message board, I'm documenting my complete story at http://www.onefatman.com.

-- Fred Anderson (fred@onefatman.com), June 25, 2000.

Having dieted, at times, successfully since I was 14 years old, I have finally decided that I will never be 125 lbs. I am healthy ...I am happy....I am loved. I'd LOVE to be 125, but that's not who I am.

I have had luck ,however, with eating one meal a day from time to time. I figure if I'm only eating once a day that I can have whatever I want at that one meal. It's a good way to lose a significant amount of weight in a hurry.

Also, whoever the "ME" is up there who suggested you NOT lose weight..isn't it nice to know that is someone out there who can appreciate a bountiful woman....BRAVO!

-- Jane (prinni@yahoo.com), June 25, 2000.

Yes Beth! Baby carrots are our friends, in fact I'm sitting here with a bag of them and some dip (fat free sour cream mixed with Garden Delight season packet).

I'll always be a proponet of accepting ourselves at any size, but I have recently been able to face the health risks my weight has caused and am really working to change eating habits and incorporate exercise into my routine.

Someone mention doing exercise that you enjoy and I totally agree. I've always loved water and swimming, but refused to don a bathing suit (for good reason, or so I thought) for years. Finally, this summer, I just said to hell with it, bought a new suit and started early morning water aerobics.

The weight is just kind of dripping off, strangely enough. It's surprising to realize my pants are bagging and I've had to move my bra down to the second row of eyehooks from the last(and you know I have the largest breast in the western world, so "row of eyehooks" is exactly what we're dealing with here.) I think that was the biggest shocker. Oh my God, my boobs are shrinking! Hallelujah.

I don't know why I'm rambling but it's been the first time in ten years that I've felt positive enough about this stuff to see some hope.

Anyway, good luck!!

Oh - tasty treat made with sugar free jello - substitute the cold water with diet seven up or ginerale. Very tasty.

-- Tammy (tammyray@uswest.net), June 27, 2000.

I'm periodically dissatisfied with my shape, which is a lot curvier than it was when I was 18. I've only really had to stress about it once though, and that was about three months before our wedding. My dress was already waiting for me down in New Zealand, and there were going to be tears if I got there six days before the event and couldn't fit it.

So it was cold turkey on everything bad. No sugar in my tea, no butter on my bread, no cheese, no chocolate, no sweets, and nothing fried. The first week or so was hell, but after that I completely got used to being really healthy, and found I couldn't eat fatty food without it making me feel ill. The process was definitely easier because I had a specific goal, and because Tristan was away and I wasn't getting tempted by lots of 'forbidden' food in the flat.

Beth's dead right about portion sizes. Apparently your stomach is only the size of your fist when it's empty, so it doesn't actually need much food to make it full. Eating slowly helps, so your brain has time to figure out your stomach is full. Or use smaller plates, so you can't serve yourself as much.

The biggest secret is to try and retrain your tastebuds so they prefer fruit over chocolate, and don't like butter anymore. This is really difficult at first - the cold turkey route is the best way to go - but eventually it all settles down and you look with horror at people eating McDonalds.

The things to avoid are fats. I routinely read the fat content of everything I eat, and if it's double figures then I don't go near it. If you can keep this up most of the time, you'll be able to occasionally have big puddings without fearing you're going to explode.

On the whole, I feel pretty comfortable in my skin, but I think it's almost normal to feel gorgeous one day, and hideous the next.

-- Jackie (jackiec@diaryland.com), June 28, 2000.

Um, I'd just like to say that my butt hurts this morning. After months of slacking (I had an excuse for the first month; after that it was just habit), I'm finally getting back into an exercise routine. Except I keep having allergies and sinus infections so I skip a few days. What this means is that I'm not getting any better, so it always hurts like hell the next day. I feel like someone did jumping jacks on my thighs all night.

I don't know what effect this will have on my fat ass (and actually, my ass isn't the problem; it's my tummy I'd like to get rid of), but if pain was the goal, I'm already there. Yay, me.

-- Beth (beth@xeney.com), June 28, 2000.

Lisa is right about the sedentary lifestyles of Americans making them so fat. When I moved to England, I was surprised at how many people walked everywhere, or at least got the bus and walked part of the way or whatever. Once I got a car at 16, I drove everywhere; I lived in the middle of BFE, so I needed a car just to get into town, but once there I should have parked and walked everywhere. Here, towns are set up so you can pretty much walk anywhere you need to go, and people do it. And as far as I've seen, people in England drink just as much pop as in America -- plus copious amounts of sugary tea.

I can vouch for the fact that it's impossible not to lose weight if you follow The Zone. I can also vouch for the fact that it takes a lot of effort to plan every meal of every day (at least for a lazy person like me), which is why I stopped doing it. By making all of my meals carb, protein and monounsaturated fat-balanced (30% lean protein, 40% carbs, 30% monounsaturated fat), weight just dropped off (I don't weigh myself so I don't know how much I lost, though everyone commented on it and I had to buy new clothes, so it must have been more than a couple of pounds). The problem with eating high-carb, low- fat diets is that the carbs make your blood sugar shoot up, and when you exercise your body just burns the carb reserves instead of the fat on your ass. You eat carbs on this plan, but they're carbs that release sugar slowly into your bloodstream (i.e. no starchy foods). Having tried every high-carb, low-fat diet under the sun, and running myself ragged with exercise trying to lose weight on them, I was amazed when all I had to do was walk for 25-30 minutes every day and the weight fell off with ease.

As I said, though, I stopped doing it because I really can't be bothered to plan my meals like that. Plus, I missed bread, potatoes, rice and pasta. One thing the Zone book tells you to do is to have a carbohydrate binge once a month, to remind yourself of how spaced out, sluggish and just horrible carbs make you feel. I was very surprised that just eating a piece of toast after a month or so on the plan made me feel tired, unfocused and really weird in general. Bread as a buzz -- who knew?

-- Jackie Danicki (nein@freeuk.com), June 28, 2000.

Beth: Good news: your stomach doesn't own the fat on it, your entire body does. Any exercise you do will eventually make the fat go away, regardless of what parts you exercise (assuming you exercise enough). The bad news is that your body will lose the fat in the reverse order of how it packed it on in the first place, and if I remember correctly, the usual order for women is face, stomach, butt, thighs, and boobs. Many women have found it very discouraging that the first sign of diet/exercise working is that their boobs got smaller. For guys, its stomach, face, stomach, thighs, stomach, and then I think stomach some more.

Covert Bailey wrote in one of his Fit or Fat books that he wanted to get rid of stomach flab, so he did about a zillion situps a day. He developed abs of steel... with stomach flab on top of them. However, if he had tried running instead...

-- Colin (ethilrist@prodigy.net), June 29, 2000.

I've read in several places that women are supposed to have at least a little pot belly and that it's just the way female bodies are meant to be. Something about reproduction, but I can't remember what.

-- Jackie Danicki (nein@freeuk.com), June 29, 2000.

I remember seeing a statue from, I don't know, the 19th century orsomething, of a man with a rounded belly. So you've got this stunning naked guywonderfully muscled, nice face, clearly meant to be a sort of avatar of physical beauty...with a gentle curve to the belly. Not a big old sag, mind you, but definitely not flat. It was gorgeous. You'd never get to see something like that now. Ah, such a shame.

-- Jessie (sorokin@alum.mit.edu), June 29, 2000.

I studied art history and loved a statue I believe was called "Balsac" or something of the sort. It was a healthily bellied older man naked under an open robe standing in a thoughtful pose. I though it was wonderful then and now I am built like the statue. I have been eating sensibly for over a year, no snacking not eating late at night , all the food groups and low fat content, I swim twice a week for a hour each time and walk about six kilometers a day in between swimming, I also do some physical labour at both my jobs. So now my legs are nice enough for people to coment on them as are my arms, muscular but not big, yet my torso is still rather Rubenesque. My GF's seem to like it though so I am fairly comfortable with it, it is how I look and as long as I am accepted for who I am rather than how buff I am I can be happy.

-- Daniel (truth60@yahoo.co), June 29, 2000.

Jackie D's right about the way women are supposed to have a pot belly - it's because we have a uterus and men don't.

-- Jackie (jackiec@diaryland.com), June 30, 2000.

I found that I lose weight when I am really busy with something I find very interesting. Boredom is my biggest problem. Also, inertia. Once I begin to lose it gets easier, same goes for when I begin to gain. Right now I think I'm at about 170 lbs. at 5'6". I haven't weighed myself lately because I keep waiting to feel like I've lost a few pounds before I do. I've been low-carbing but haven't felt like I've lost. Besides, I went to New Orleans with my sister this weekend and needless to say with all the good food there it would be a crime to diet!

-- Kelley (kbeld@juno.com), July 06, 2000.

This is the first time that I've ever admitted this: I'm a step class addict! All I have to do is make sure I show up on time six days a week and I end up getting a great wrokout without even thinking about it. The high protien/low carb thing works wonders, but I try to throw in a high carb day every fourth day just to confuse and manipulate my sluggish metabolism. American Ginseng is good for appetite suppression. Coenzyme Q10 does something good, but I can't remember what. Hopefully, I'll reach a point in the near future where I can accept my body in it's natural state and STOP THIS INSANITY. High protien diets cause cancer (says Dr. Weil) and excessive exercise wears out the cartilage!

"...then Sunrise kissed my Chrysalis-- And I stood up--and lived."--Emily Dickinson

-- Poppy (ithesky@aol.com), July 13, 2000.

Having struggled with food, and subsequently, my weight for the better part of my 43 years, I can say that I've probably tried every "diet" created and anything else I could get my hands on, ie: drugs, laxatives, bulimia...lovely things like that.

Well, all it got me was a roller coaster of a body weight and some pretty damn unhealthy ways of eating and thinking. I really hate that our societies have wreaked this havoc on us simply because some folks apparantly made the decision about what's acceptable in the body/looks department but didn't clue the rest of us in!

So, I now have been diagnosed with diabetes (6 weeks ago) and that has certainly given me a whack on the head in regards to how I fuel and take care of my body. I'd like to die healthy and not from any complications that being overweight and unhealthy might bring.

I have known for decades "how" to eat and keep my body healthy...I just chose not to and ate crap because I wanted to. I mean, I LIKED Yodels! I probably always will. I just won't eat them anymore because I want only good things to go into my body.

It's weird, but after trying everything under the sun, and giving up sugar numerous times (with failure), this recent change in my life has resulted in all those cravings and struggles being suddenly GONE. It's like I didn't even have to try, I just want to eat organic, natural, whole foods. It's such a relief. After 6 weeks my blood sugar is down almost 300 points and without "trying" I've lost weight. Never wanting to step anywhere near a scale, I have no idea how much, but the seat belt in the car is easier to buckle and my pants are looser, not to mention the reduced-boobs thing!

I kind of got off the inital question here, but I have to say that so many folks here have hit it on the head: excercise and eating healthy, smaller portions. Eating more meals with less food throughout the day keeps your metabolism and blood sugar even without all the peaks and valleys that make you hungry and cranky. Drinking lots of water makes you pee more, sure, but it keeps you hydrated and cleaned out! Helps keep that skin tight, too. Refined sugar and flours and preservatives are just flat out bad for you, period. We all know it but do we stop eating them? You decide. Me, I want to live more than another 43 years and feel great doing it. I had no idea just how crappy I'd been feeling for years until this last 6 weeks of feeling so good!

I will keep losing weight, yes, but it's for my health, not for any need to look a certain way. I have found that it's so easy to just eat right...I guess the scare of what could happen to me if I don't was just the thing to remove the obstacles I've always faced.

Bottom line: (oh, a pun) eat healthfully and sensibly, drink a lot of water and do some aerobic excercise and you WILL lose weight. You'll feed your body well and it'll come off slowly -- the way it should for your health. I'm just so amazed at how incredible I feel without the sugars and preservatives! (BTW: if you still want to sweeten things, there is a totally healthy product called Stevia -- an herb -- that is 100-300 times sweeter than sugar, looks and tastes like sugar, and you can cook/bake with it, too. Not a shred of anything refined or chemical in it, unlike the pink and blue things. You can get it in powder or liquid form at your health food store).

Kymm, I hope you find a way to enjoy eating so that you can lose weight as well as be happy in your skin -- Good Luck!

-- julie nicolay (julienicolay@hotmail.com), July 17, 2000.

I'm going to have a gastric bypass.

.... honest . . . . . . .

-- Tracey (icemouse@mdvl.net), September 12, 2000.

I have a question..I'm new to this, but I have the same old problems as you guys do, namely, I've got about 10 lbs to lose. I've gained this weight over 3 years of law school. And basically, during this torture, food has been the only thing that comforted me after a day of being made feel like a dunce. But the question is this..has anyone gained the weight while in a relationship? And, if so, how has that person responded to your weight gain? The reason I ask is that my special one hasnt really mentioned it, though I know my weight gain is totally obvious. I just want to know what your experiences have

-- Heather (heat@gwu.edu), November 03, 2000.

Hello sweeties! I think we are all wonderful human beings and if we would only stop wishing we were different we'd all be much happier, than if we were the way we wished...unfortunately humans dont' think like that. My experience: Born quite chubby and after 3 yrs old was farely thin. While a teenager my parents "threatened" to put me in a WEIGHT GAIN HOSPITAL if I didn't gain some weight. Anyway, I married at 21 weighting 100 lbs. (Oh wonderful memories...), and gained about 10 lbs. on our honey moon. My hubby said he liked it, but then came pregnancy and after my chubby was born, I was 160 lbs. Afterwards I went to night school for about 2 months and that helped me loose 20 pounds. I found that ifyou don't concentrate on food, you are okay (but it's hard). No 25 yrs. and weight 143. I wish I still weighed 100 lbs. but maybe it wont get any better. SO when this is the situation just concentrate on NOT GAINING ANY MORE! And yes your hubby will notice and they still love you but would like to see you lose at least "a couple". GOOD LUCK AND DRINK THAT WATER!

-- Caroline Sweet (coolestlady@hotmail.com), November 26, 2000.

well,i'm a Ballerina, and my weight and appearance play an important role.The thing you have to do is, NOT diet. This oftens results in bingeing which eventually causes you to gain weight or if more seriously, make you bulimic.This is because your body craves more carbohydrates for energy. Just remember to eat a medium sized healthy breakfast(for example cornflakes , orange juice and an apple),a medium lunch(some fruits, as much salad as you want, so long as there's no dressings,and a low fat cheese sandwich.You can use cottage cheese and whole grain bread.), and a small dinner(salad and fruits, or if you are still hungry, low fat frozen yogurt is just as tasty and appetizing). If you are hungry, grab a fruit or some carrot sicks..... Let's face it, we're human, if you crave an ice-cream, get a small portion, you are better off fulfilling your craves rather than bingeing later on. Finally, exercise.....whether you like it or now, exercise helps A LOT......so go for a walk or jog your dog when you're free......

-- Denise Kong (FreakeeFranky2000@hotmail.com), January 05, 2001.

I have lost weight by continually stuffing fat filled Twinkies down my overly large gullet. I find that 57 Twinkies is just what i need to get me through a 12 mile jog. I do this every single day. Other activities that i do to lose weight "involve" watching other people exercise on T.V. Do i ever love that Richard Simmins guy. What a fine butt. I could get off looking at it any time of the day. Channel surfing helps too. I find that the more time I spend in front of the computer the better my big fat ass looks.

-- Alexandra Unterbrink (hoochiemomma@hotmail.com), January 19, 2001.

The smartest way to look at losing the weight is to be completely frank with yourself... its unhealthty. Think heart disease, osteoporosis. Those are things that are hard to fix when they are actually happening. At least exercise. Even if all it means is parking in the farthest parking place. When you get the idea that you should maybe be exercising.. take it and run. Its never easy... if it was everyone would do it. Research what vitamins and minerals you most need.. and then find the foods that match and eat a little of everything. And whatever you do.. don't deprive yourself.. that only makes it harder. Moderation is the key. Literally keep track of what you ate today.. sometimes I forget that I ate the klondike this afternoon, so maybe I really shouldn't have some cheesecake.Cut up vegetables in the fridge all ready for you to snack on. And drinking water.. try setting a goal and making it a little pesonal competition. Have a Gallon or half-gallon jug that needs to be gone by the end of the day. The longer you wait.. the harder it gets. Make it normal for you..Don't diet and then go back to eating "normally". Make healthy eating habits your normal habits. That doesn't mean you can eat good food... it just means you have to be concious of whats going down. You can't exactly take it all back when your cholesterol is 280. (normal is under 200). Just my two cents...

-- Christina (lachesis0000@yahoo.com), February 15, 2001.

Oh, and as the girl said above.. eating breakfast helps a lot. But nothing too big.

-- Christina (lachesis0000@yahoo.com), February 15, 2001.

HI I'm Abby and I couldn't help but give an informative response to Kymm who was asking for commets on weight lose, Without not respond to almost all of you . What you say you are all doing is Very DANGEROUSE TO YOUR HEALTH . Contrary to what you think you have heard beef does not equal fat it equals protien which is basically the main component in losing weight( that and being mixed with it's complement vegtables). Eating fruits every day all week (only in the case of trying to lose weight ) is not correct. If you are seriouse about losing weight please leave me an e-mail at loviabby@hotmail.com, and in case you can't I'll start you off with the most important tips. NO.1 eliminate ALL SUGAR from your diet,this includes reading labels on every product you buy, you will be astonished at how many products contain unneeded sugar. BEWARE sugar has many other nick names such as dextrose, Glucose,maltros,sucros,fructos,levulose,dextrine,sorghum, caramel, molasses,ect... other products high in sugar are alchool, barbecue sauceses , ketscup,ect... And no artificial sweeteners either as they are toxic to the body and only perpetuate the viciouse cycle of sugar consumption. Refined products like white bread also turn to sugar in you system, that goes for potatoes to.Juices are especially a killer, think of it this way, one glass of orange juice has the equivilant sugar as 6-7 oranges, now who eats that many oranges in one sitting? No.2 drink 2.5-1.5 liters of water a day, this is important because it flushes out built up toxins in the body, which it would have had to eliminate by itself(unneed stress) No.3 One other important factor is your daily meals and what they contain.You must eat 3 meals a day and a snack between each. The main meals must consist of protien such as fish, poultry, or beef(no pork too high in fat) they should not be deep fried or coated, rather salted and spiced and make sure to always use FIRST COLD PRESSED OILS such as ,olive, almond,sunflower,grapeseed,ect... there are many diffrent typs available, when cooking.You must also eat the equivilant weight or more in fresh and cooked vegtables, try to make every meal with at least 3-4 different veggies.You may also have along with it EXACTLY 1/4 cup of brown rice or 1/2 of a small potatoe.you should eat this way 7-10 meals a week, the rest can be legumeuse meals such as chic peas(homus), or Whole Wheat pasta. Snacks can be 1 small fruit but it is IMPORTANT to combine the fruit with a protein such as plain yogurt, cheese(make sure they are less than 15% M.G)or any kind of nuts (except peanuts,the oil in peanuts is not eliminated easily by the body.)or any raw vegetables diped in fat free sour cream or homus. This can also be done with dried fruits. For Breakfast you may have 1 piece of toast 2 eggs (exept only one egg yolk save the rest don't throw it away) and 1\2 a tomatoe. or yogurt and fruit. Do not eat Bananas more than 3 times a week less if possible. N0.4 EXERCISE whether you like it or not. Personnaly I despise working out, But I do it anyways.What really works for me is blasting motivating fast pace music you'd be surprised at the extra rush of energy you get.The important point here is to exeed 30 minutes of a medium pase work out. Which is basically a few steps higher than your regular heart beat. IT IS ONLY AFTER 30 MINUTES THAT YOU BEGIN TO BURN PURE FAT so think about that. Work slowly and build up your time. The least amount done should be 150 minutes per week. If you follow these tips religeously I garentee you will lose 1.5 - 4 pounds a week. YOU CAN DO IT . Yes you can you control your life don't you or does the neighbor. Don't critisize your self for all the bad you've done embellish on the good ones, never forget that tommorow is a clean slate ,and nothing can't be undone. REMEMBER it took much time and damage on your body to ruin your metabolism, it will take time and hard work to rebuiled it to it's full potential. If you need someone for encouragement or just to help you out on those extra hard days you can talk to me. -Abby

-- Abdala kaufmann (loviabby@hotmail.com), March 10, 2001.

I eat one snickers bar, one multivitamin, drink only water, and smoke one rock of crack a day. Not only do I have more energy, but I don't crave food as much. Sure I love crack but in moderation I'm fine. If you can't find any drugs, then just become anorexic, its totally easy after you get used to the hunger pangs.

-- R. Gagne (Gagne@aol.com), March 22, 2001.

Fat people take up too much room. They deplete oxygen resources partitioned for healthy thin people. They are often quite ugly. I can't stand it when a fat man tries to urinate, but misses the toilet and pees all over the ground. It makes me soo angry. I hope you all have heart attacks and strokes and you all stop peeing on the ground of public restrooms.

-- Asnurpail Gupta (and@ahd.com), June 04, 2001.

hello to all,is there anybody out there who needs a workout partner,buddy or mutual support friend? located in the California,bay area(Sunnyvale). let me know,so we can begin getting physically and mentally healthy soon. sincerely ~ j.velmoth

-- j.velmoth (shimmering@hotmail.com), November 13, 2001.

My partner's daughter is losing a ton of weight. She's incredibly unhappy in her skin. Wants to die. She's bullimic; it works like a charm.

She vomits. and vomits. and vomits. She hates it so much she takes appetite supressants; if she doesn't eat, maybe she won't throw up. But still she vomits. So figuring she can eat anything she wants, she now binges. And then vomits. We didn't know how bad it really was...

Dumping the kitchen garbage last week, I found seven large kitchen garbage bags all tied off and filled with vomit. She's been hiding it from us. But she couldn't hide her size 4 frame. We knew she was sick. We've been secretly plotting on how to get her in for treatment.

How did this happen? How did this healthy, talented, gorgeous, twenty- something-year-old get to this place? Is it because of her overweight, yet loving, mother? Is it because of her hateful, angry father? Is it because of the divorce? Was it the diet the evil step- mother put her on at age six? Or is it a society that puts more value on what's outside than what's inside?

I don't know. At this point, I don't really care. What I do care about, is keeping her from killing herself.

Health isn't just a matter of weight. Health is an attitude. It's the whole enchilada. It's in the heart and in the mind as well as in the body. Health isn't just an individual race. It's a social activity. Be careful how you portray yourself to those around you. Be careful how you describe yourself outloud. Children listen. Children imitate.

Be healthy. Be health-positive. Being fat-negative can lead to a road of self-loathing and death. I know. I'm watching it happen under my own roof. And it's killing me. In my heart. Yes, Health is a social activity. It affects everyone around you, not just you.

-- Julie Schick (jschick@cmc.net), January 03, 2002.

I am VERY overwieght but think that the worry and stress of being overweight is worse on a person than the actual fat. I am very proud to report that dispite my obesity I am in a relationship with the most beautiful (inside and out) woman I have ever met, so maybe physical body isnt everything.

-- Ray Watkins (rayadj67@hotmail.com), January 16, 2002.

Well I weigh 255 lbs and I am now about to join the gym for the first time in my life. I have decided that I want to feel healthy, to run up two flights of stairs without feeling like I'm about to faint. I have never taken fitness seriously before but now that I will be spending $65 per month on the gym... believe me I will;)

I have read all your views, and I have decided that I'm gonna drink more water, switch to diet sprite (in moderation), cut down on starch intake and incorporate much more fruit and vegatables - raw and steamed - in my meals. I love sweets and french fries, but when I think about it, I don't love all sweets and I dont love them everyday. So I will simply stick to sweets that I LOVE like, icecream, chocolate and cheesecake and even then, I will have only a taste of them, less frequently. There are sweets that I have simply because they are around, like the lollypop or the twinkie, I don't have a strong craving for them so they can go easily. Finally, I'm really going to stop eating when I feel full. I've realized that I do really hate to see food waste - an inherited trait from my grandmother who believed in wasting nothing - especially when It was expensive in the first place, because then I think 'well that was just a waste of money'. But I think that forcing myself to finsh the meal so as not to waste the food has truly increased my weight. Well, these will be my strategies. Along with the exercise we'll see how I do. If they don't work, then I'll just give up and go on a fad diet! Actually I'm kidding. I really can't put myself through so much torture for cosmetic reasons - and it would be cosmetic, because fad diets don't make people healthy, they only a support a societal belief that one must look a certain way in order to be validated as a human being... absolute crap. I love me, and I don't need to buy into that rubbish... Neither do any of you.

Good luck to all.

-- kayemu (Kamiloo2@aol.com), March 03, 2002.

i diet but it is kinda hard for me becausei am a teenager and all. but it really hard because my parents worry that i might get to skinny, because i look like i am skinny but i really think i am not so if any of you have any answers for me thanx i appreciate a whole lot.

-- Amanda (flylil_woman58329@msn.com), March 25, 2002.

when I was little, I thought I was the only one with a problem. My mother made me lose a lot of weight. My childhood was full with insults and mockery about my appearance - only from my mother, from nobody else. I have never had self-esteem problems. I lost about 20 kilograms in a year to make her happy. Then it became like a game - to keep it off and lower and lower. I became 49 kilograms while being 171 centemeters tall. The problem came when I started gaining weight, because I stopped depriving myself from food. I could never really vomit, with several exceptions, but I exercises compulsively. I would binge eat one day and not eat for three. Anything would be better than my mother mocking me. Gradually my stomach became bigger because of the binges and I couldn't just stop eating for two or three days. I gained weight. After my first year in college I weighed the most I ever did - 80 kilograms. I had a thuunderous success in college. As said, I have never had self-esteem problems. I achieved more in the first semester than most people during their entire college career - yet my mother refused to greet me at the airport. This is when something crashed. My father had never tried to control my weight. I had all this wonderful conversations with him, but when I now look back all of what my mother talked was weight. She watched every bite I ever ate. My entire childhood was circled around the question 'what did you eat". This was annoying me beyond description. Now I realize that the reason I ate so much in school is because I was finally free of the despicable question: "what did you eat". After the second year of college I made clear to my mother that I don't give a shit about what she thinks. Now I am eating normally, three meals a day, and guess what! I look perfect.

I found American measurements for the American readers. right now I am 5,9 tall. I don't know how much I weight, but I wear a little baggy size 12. I look gorgeous in my own eyes! Another plus to my self-esteem.

My mother had almost stopped making remarks and the insultive comments had practically disapeared. My God, I am so glad I shouted at her that day...

-- Anonymous (Beethoven1981@netscape.net), April 27, 2002.

I am finally where I need to be, weightwise, after having my first child three years ago. That would be 5' 4" and approximately 125 pounds. When I was younger, it was easier to skip meals and drop a pound or two. With age, now at 30 and after having a beautiful baby girl, it gets harder. Now, fasting for a couple of days has the littlest affect on the inches. When I married the first time I, roughly, gained forty. When I divorced, I lost the forty plus some... hooray! I found it easy to lose the weight out of determination and a huge desire to look good. I married again and stayed the same weight until the little one came along.... and only lost half of the weight thereafter. I spent three years feeling fat and trying to stipulate an excercise program which fluctuated, depending on my drive and which time of the month it was. I'd never been a diet person but gave in to try the cabbage soup diet(( a FAD DIET from hell)) a couple of times. I lost and gained, lost and gained. Just the smell is enough to make anyone sick. No more cabbage soup for me. Then along came the blessing - for me and my husband at least. After swearing that I would never and could never stick to a diet regimen again, we tried the Sugarbuster thing. We had heard and seen some results from a few relatives and decided to give it a shot for only a few weeks-if that long. My husband, being of the fried food nature, cornbread and collards, peas and ham hocks, etc., was excited to be trying something new. I could tell a slight difference in the first week and even more in the second. It was enough incentive to push forward and continue a healthy way of eating. Although the book stresses exercise, we didn't lift a pinky toe. My husband dropped from 223 to 207 in three weeks. I have never been one to use the scales, but I am back in my pre-pregnant clothes and still losing. We eat good food - for real. It's a matter of sugars and hidden sugars and knowing how to monitor them and even how to cook them. Giving up potatoes and steamed white rice was my biggest obstacle. But now I enjoy them on occasion and make it a treat. Our taste buds have changed to a healthier way of eating. And although we indulge from time to time, we still manage to maintain a healthy weight. There was very little effort for such a huge change. And what started out as a three week trial will continue for the rest of our lives. It definitely makes me "Happier" in my own skin!

Good luck to all trying to lose the weight!!

-- Beth Thompson (bsthompson@graceba.net), June 28, 2002.

i love eating and yer I have got a fat ass and i love it love from jake

-- john (djiuyhuhj@hotmail.com), May 13, 2003.

You are all fat ASSES!

-- Roland Zorrest (temptem@aol.com), September 09, 2003.

hey guys, ive been tryng to lose weight for 2 years ,but the wieght um talking about is only a few killos...but my problem is i like eating ,and when um nervous i eat like a pig ,and now i do exercises everyday and um tring to stop eating junk foood and i guess its working. for any suggestions send me plz

-- yara (yaratotah@usa.com), February 17, 2004.

How come I'm still a virgin????????????????

-- Gunja smoker (ggg@hotmail.com), April 17, 2004.

Hey everybody- i can't really contribute to the real pain that i know you guys must be feeling- being that i am only 14 years old and about113lbs. - but i have a serious eating disorder!- My eating habits vary- at times i will have the time period of just not eating at all- like many of you. and other times i just dont care-I dont care what a scale says- if i can see that my weight has visibly changed for the worst- that is just unacceptable to me! A lot of the time other people cant see the change that i do - and sometimes i have my own isolated brakedowns. I dont enjoy seeing myself(body) just because i am the only one who sees me as the real me. i see me as fat - so what i see ribs-that doesnt matter- i have to live with my own form of pain everyday. I know that there is something wrong with me because when i go to sites that tell you about eating disorders- and all of the symptoms-well that's just me! One that i never forget is that whenever people bring up your weight or appearance- you become defensive.- That is me! I have so much stuff just all mixed up in my head and i cant even begin to express myself to everybody who decides to visit or contribute to this site.- But that doesn't matter- I WANT TO THANK EVERYBODY WHO DID WRITE ALL OF THEIR STORIES AND TELL EVERYONE HOW THEY LOST WEIGHT!!! AND I ESPECIALLY WANT TO THANK KYMM FOR PUTTING UP SUCH A PRODUCTIVE SITE!! My problem with my weight and eating had become almost unbarable I have experienced the painfulness of bulimia & anorexia > not by force- like an actual sickness that my body just wouldn't accept the food-it was just all by me... forcing myself to be the way i am. -Carmen

-- Carmen Foster (Carmen_grace22@hotmail.com), March 07, 2005.

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