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-   -   50 Years Old and Starting Anew! - Originally started on 4/25/14 (http://www.fitday.com/fitness/forums/success-stories/11183-50-years-old-starting-anew-originally-started-4-25-14-a.html)

TT2014 06-28-2014 03:25 AM

50 Years Old and Starting Anew! - Originally started on 4/25/14
 
April 25th, 2014

Hi there,

I'm a 50 year old female who was at 235 lbs on April 25th, 2014. I had a grand mal seizure on April 17th and a TIA (mini stroke, as my doctor told me). I ate horribly, consuming large amounts of sugar, salt, and caffeine in the form of tea. My husband has tried to help me stabilize for 9 years, trying to get me to use honey instead of sugar, and cut back on the bad things through substitution, but I was always cheating. I have had a lot of stress from my brothers, sister, and mother, and have let the anxiety ruin me for years. I also slept horribly and was always exhausted. I was admitted into the hospital for 4 days, and dropped to 235lbs from a bout 245 lbs because I ate little there. My blood pressure was commonly nearly 200/100 during the last year when I would stress. I was told I was exceptionally lucky, as I did not lose capabilities.

Since I had my seizure, I have realized life is too short, and that I want to spend as much of it as I can with my immediate family and friends. I saw a doctor to help me with some emotional stuff, and am now on a good anti-anxiety medicine. My husband is thrilled I am finally moving forward for healthy improvement. He had me see a sleep specialist, and I will be getting a CPAP machine soon to help me sleep, since I have sleep apnea. (*UPDATE: It is June 27th, I have had the CPAP for 3 weeks, it is WONDERFUL!). I was told this will help me even more with energy and focus and will stop me from having seizures (since sleep apnea is the root cause).

I was forced into a mostly fluid diet into the hospital, so I thought I was going to eat like crazy when I was released. However, the new anti-anxiety medicine helps me feel less hungry, so I found it wasn't too hard to follow a diet my husband has devised for me (he is a Doctor of Management), and I am now down to 220.8 pounds in 21 days. This is mostly water weight, as my husband tells me, as I do not yet exercise, and he said I should not lose more than 10% of my total original weight when we finish the 30 days of Phase II. I have already started to level off to losing 0.2 - 0.4 lbs/day, as my carb intake is still a little high. My diet is low sodium (no added salt), low sugar (but balanced for glucose needs), caffeine-free, low cholesterol, low-fat, and runs at 1500-1600 calories per day. My husband says we are working on a 5-phase diet and exercise routine he developed, to help me change my lifestyle and have healthy eating habits instead of just a short-term diet. He constantly tells me the key is transitioning. We always transition from one thing to another, instead of forcing a major change in diet or exercise. He said he would have had a different Phase I for me if I hadn't been forced into it from the hospital, but that the diet he has me on was a good transition from the hospital back to the real world. We will gradually boost my diet up to about 2000 calories per day as I progress through the phases. At the end of this, my first real goal is 190 pounds.

Here is what he has for me:

Phase I 25 to 30 days, depending on weight loss, estimated total of 15 pounds to lose
Drink (qty: 8) 16.9 oz water bottles per day (I use Mio for flavor), with no more than 1 bottle every 2 hours. We live in Colorado.
Restricted diet to 1500-1600 calories
No real exercise at this phase, just daily activity of working

Breakfast
Dannon Light & Fit Strawberry Yogurt 1.33 servings
1 Banana
One 16.9 oz bottle of water

I also take a Woman's Silver One-A-Day vitamin and I take a daily 600mg Calcium supplement.
Every 2 hour period, drink 1 bottle of water

Lunch
Progresso Light Soup Chicken Noodle (or similar) - 1/2 can
1 hard-boiled egg with only 1/2 the yolk (I can't stand to eat the whites alone yet)
One 16.9 oz bottle of water

Snack
Nature Valley Granola Bar (pack of 2) - The flavor changes based on the variety pack (Maple Sugar, Peanut Butter, Plain)
One 16.9 oz bottle of water

Dinner
Approximately 850-900 calories, but my choice of variety. I usually have:
boneless, skinless chicken breast - one 4 oz serving - Mrs. Dash
baked potato with cheddar cheese - 2 servings of each - Mrs. Dash
steamed Brussels sprout or broccoli - 2 to 3 servings (I love these)
One 16.9 oz bottle of water

Dessert
Blue Bell Fruit Bar, Strawberry (70 calories)

My carb intake is in the 155 gram range for now. I have never been a big protein eater, but I am slowly transitioning to more protein.

He said Phase II-V will end up having me only lose between 1.25 and 1.33 lbs of weight per week and will last approximately 5 months, and I will be exercising appropriately, mostly walking 30 minutes with friends 3 times per week (twice in a day). He is disabled and cannot walk with me, but him having me coordinate with friends to walk in the near future is proving beneficial all around. The goal is 23.50 pounds by the end of Phase II on June 25th. He will slowly increase my calories to 2000 over the next four phases, modifying my diet to foods I like, but still healthy. We will also modify my exercise routine to include indoors exercising on my bike, since it gets pretty cold in the winter.

I am so thankful he has been here coaching me this entire time. He knows my body better than anyone else, and having someone who loves me to help guide me has helped me stay very focused (that, and my medicine). I am done cheating on diets, although at first I WAS frustrated, as I had to use the bathroom a lot within the first two weeks from all the water I was drinking. However, my body is finally adjusting to it, and it hasn't been as much of an issue anymore.

I hope this sounds good for helping others in my age category. I feel great, have lost almost 15 pounds in 3 weeks, and my jeans are loose enough that I now need to consider pulling out my older pairs I outgrew from years ago. I have plenty of energy and am now looking forward to exercising soon.
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TT2014 06-28-2014 03:27 AM

Update - May 25th, 2014
 
Hey there everyone. I started Phase II recently of my diet.

Here is what it currently consists of:

Phase I - 25 days total (from an estimated 21-30 days)
The same 1500 - 1600 calories diet as Phase I
(Qty: 8) 16.9 oz bottles of water, with one every 2 hours throughout the day (Mio for flavor) + (Qty: 2) 16.9 oz bottles for exercise

Phase II 30-35 days, depending on weight loss, estimated total of 23.50 pounds to lose (since Phase I was only 25 days). The goal total is June 25th, for an approximate 60 days on this new plan.
+250 calories for each day (twice/day 125 calories for each period) exercising
Exercise on Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat. / Rest days on Tues, Thurs, Sun.

Exercise at this time is 30 minutes on stationary bike (due to lots of rain recently) in the morning and then 30 minutes of walking in the late afternoon with my friend.

The extra 250 calories is easily (mostly) digestible for quick energy and to help curb cravings.

For the morning, I increase my yogurt to double its intake, and then have one banana. I also have one extra bottle of water (with Hi-C flavoring similar to Mio). Any fatigue I have from exercising disappears within an hour.

For the late afternoon, I have an increased dinner with a higher serving size of potatoes, vegetables, and increased protein. The total increase is approximately 125 calories, with more focus on protein for muscle repair. I also have one extra bottle of water (with Mio) after exercising. Any fatigue I have from exercising disappears within an hour or so.

I have been on Phase II for 5 days, and I have lost .8 pounds, so I am right on track. I have lost a total of 16.8 pounds since starting 35 days ago. My legs get a little tired, but I do not get the stiffness or pain from exercising that I used to when I would try similar exercising. My goal is 1.25-1.33 pounds lost per week and I am right on track.

Although I have slowed on weight loss, the inches are still getting smaller around my waist and hips. I've lost two sizes so far with my jeans and I feel great! I was worried I was going to lose my chest size drastically, but my husband insists that as long we focus on the lower half of my body for exercise, the impact should be reduced.

I hope this helps other people in my age category for considering a diet that works for them.
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TT2014 06-28-2014 03:28 AM

Update: May 27, 2014
 
It has been 2 extra days on Phase II and I gained almost a pound.

At first I was upset about it, but my husband reassured me that it is a combination of weight and inches I should be worrying about, and not to get too caught up on the numbers for weight. Sure enough, I found my jeans fit even looser today and my measurement showed I had lost another .25 inches around my hips and another 3/8 inches around my waist since Saturday. Sometimes it is so easy to forget there are going to be plateaus. My husband says it is because the exercise, even with this short duration, is building muscle, and muscle weighs more than fat. I can definitely feel it. My legs seem to have some increased strength and my endurance has definitely improved. It is such a blessing to have him to reassure me, as I was severely tempted to take "a break" from my diet and exercise since I seemed to go up .9 pounds. However, as long as we keep going together, I know I can make my goal by October.

I'm mainly posting this here to remind people not to give up on their diets so easily (as it really can be so simple to stop!) and to remember the long term goal does require effort and focus to reach it. I hope people can see my story and help remember that the journey is as important as the destination for these kinds of plans.
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TT2014 06-28-2014 03:28 AM

Update: June 25, 2014
 
Phase II is complete and I have lost a total of 23.50 pounds! I am fitting into clothes from before I met my husband and I can’t stop giggling when I look in the mirror.

It seems unbelievable to me that this is working so well. My husband has been exactly right so far on what works for me, so much that it is scary sometimes. My diet is now going to increase to 1850 calories or so for Phase III, as of tomorrow, and I will only have a slight increase of 15 extra minutes per day of exercise.

The schedule for Phase III is as follows:

Phase III - 30 days, depending on weight loss, estimated total of 30 pounds to lose
Drink (Qty: 8) 20.0 oz water bottles per day (I use Hi-C (Mio) for flavor), with no more than 1 bottle every 2 hours for regular days. On exercise days, I now drink 2 extra 20 oz water bottles, one bottle per period of exercise. We live in Colorado. Restricted diet to 1850-1900 calories
Exercise includes breathing for 5 minutes, stretching for 10 minutes, 30 minutes of a stationary bike, and 30 minutes of walking. There is a 10 hour difference between the stationary bike and the walking.
Exercise days are Mon, Wed, Fri, and Sat.
Weigh-in/measurement days are Wednesday and Sunday.

Breakfast
Dannon Light & Fit Strawberry Yogurt 1.33 servings for non-exercise days.
Dannon Light & Fit Strawberry Yogurt 1.33 servings + 1 cup of cantaloupe melon for exercise days. The melon can be had before, during, or after exercising, and is rich in potassium for muscle recovery.
1 Banana, regular size
One 20 oz bottle of water
One additional 20 oz bottle of water right after exercising (or during) if it is an exercise day

I also take a Woman's Silver One-A-Day vitamin and I take a daily 600mg Calcium supplement.

Every 2 hour period, drink one 20 oz bottle of water

Snack - half-way between breakfast and lunch
Fiber One 90 calorie Lemon Bars (pack of 1) – (the only bread product I get for now)
One 20 oz bottle of water

Lunch
Progresso Light Soup Chicken Noodle (or similar, I prefer Chicken Pot Pie) - 1/2 can
1 hard-boiled egg with only 1/2 the yolk
One 20 oz bottle of water

Snack
Nature Valley Granola Bar (pack of 2) -= Plain (I no longer crave other variety flavors)
One 20 oz bottle of water

Dinner
An approximate 850-900 calories, but my choice of variety. I usually have:
boneless, skinless chicken breast or tilapia fish - one 4 oz serving - Mrs. Dash
baked potato with cheddar cheese - 1 servings of each - Mrs. Dash
steamed brussels sprout or broccoli - 2 to 3 servings (I love these)
One 20 oz bottle of water

If it is an exercise day, then I get two servings of the fish or chicken (I now prefer the fish 5 days a week, with the chicken 2 days a week) and two servings of baked potato, but still only one serving of the cheddar cheese. I must start to eat within 30 minutes after exercising.

Dessert
Blue Bell Fruit Bar, Strawberry (70 calories) (*I have been offered other flavors, but only choose this one).
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TT2014 06-28-2014 03:29 AM

Update: 27 June 2014
 
Today is only the second day into the Phase III diet, and I am losing weight more quickly than ever! I was not supposed to be weighing myself until Sunday, but I FEEL lighter for some reason. I checked and I have lost exactly 25 pounds (we weigh me 3 times in a row at 10 AM normally to confirm). I had a little dance when I found this out, much to the amusement of my husband. As usual, he reminds me these are only markers, but he was very pleased I am so heavily motivated. He told me this is my body transitioning to the Phase III diet, and since I am eating mostly soluble foods, it is rapidly moving through my system.

I get to see my regular doctor again in September, but my husband is encouraging me to contact his office next week to see me in July. He last saw me when I had only lost 3-4 pounds into the diet, and he will be pulling blood for cholesterol, kidney, and nutritional functions. He will also need to examine my blood pressure medication, as I have started to get dizzy a couple times when I am standing up too fast. Since I have lost more than 10% of my body weight, my husband has told me this is not surprising. I am on a 100mg blood pressure reducer. I have a blood pressure cuff, and I have checked it every few days, noting my blood pressure has come down in the last two months to 101/75, with the meds. If he reduces me to 80 mg pills, as my husband anticipates, this should offset the dizziness and still have my blood pressure within normal range.
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Kathy13118 06-28-2014 05:33 AM

You're doing so well, high five, girl!

JediMindTricks 06-28-2014 06:05 AM

You are doing fantastic! You are so lucky to have your husband behind you 100% like this. keep up the great work and you will be to your goal in no time!!!

TT2014 07-01-2014 11:27 PM

Greatly Appreciate the Responses!
 
Thank you so much!

I appreciate you reading my postings here and I will continue to provide updates as I progress.

I fully agree about my husband's support and I am so thankful he is here.

We have our ups and downs as we work through this (I sometimes fight unintentionally with diet questions), but we are very solid together in our combined efforts.

I am very excited I have passed the half-way point, and I can see the end-goal in sight. I plan on doing another little dance when I reach 199 lbs!

aoda 07-02-2014 10:15 PM

What a scary wake-up call--you're so right, it's never too late to take control of our health and lives. Congratulations!

TT2014 07-10-2014 08:11 PM

July 10th Update
 
Hey there everyone,

So far things are going along quite well. I have had a little difficulty remembering to get the kegel stretches (10 minutes) in properly, but the breathing and the walking/bike riding are still going strong.

As part of Phase III, I had a calorie increase with minimal carbs and more protein. I do admit I am starting to crave little things here and there, so my husband is examining my diet for adjustments over the next week. He thinks it may be a simple protein craving, as I do seem to crave items that have a good protein content to them (peanuts, for example). If so, he may increase my protein foods by as much as 25% to help compensate. He said it could also be a fat craving, since I have a low fat diet, and the body does require some fat to be taken in daily.

As it is, I am now 207.2 lbs, which means I have lost 27.8 lbs total so far. I have "suddenly" (to me) lost the saddlebag on my right side. My husband said he had been examining them and had noted their drop over time, but to me, because I didn't really want to look at them, I had been turning sideways and checking my profile in the mirror instead and kind of forgot their sizes. The left saddlebag hasn't changed much in size, but my husband said this is normal, as it is not always an equal distribution for reduction.

My doctor was thrilled I had lost the weight, yet still maintained my health. He had me cut my blood pressure medication in half to 50mg pills, since he knows my goal and agrees I should reach it if I continue as I am. I cut the remaining 100mg pills in half, and went and filled the new prescription. Since taking them at the reduced rate, a slight increase of my blood pressure has occurred, so it is 101/72 as of today. Still low, but better than the 90/60 I had before. I haven't felt dizzy standing up yet. He said that the reduction in medication may take a week or so for my body to adjust to the new prescription strength, whereas increases in medication take longer.

Interestingly enough, as we have been looking through the features in this website, my husband noted I plateau with my weight every 21-24 days for approximately 3-4 days. After this happens, I have a sudden drop in weight that is larger than normal (up to 1.2 pounds in a day, kind of like water weight). He thinks it may be something with my body related to being post-menopausal. Unlike most women, I get "cold" flashes instead of "hot" flashes. I tell everyone my husband took my hot flashes since he has to take testosterone, and it heats him up periodically to the point of needing ice packs. His examination of my body physiology over time shows that I have leveling off periods that almost matched my menstrual cycle before (off by a couple days). I don't notice anything going on during those days, just that my body doesn't want to lose weight. It also matches the time frame I used to have, which was 3-4 days. My primary care doctor acknowledged it, but didn't comment one way or the other, since I have exceeded all goals he set for me. However, just knowing that this cycle is going on, makes me feel better when those days happen and I don't see changes on the scale. I am now getting used to it, recognizing I will drop back down into the weight area I should be in when that plateau time ends.

We will be continuing to focus on my diet and exercise, and I will start Phase IV on July 31st, if everything still goes as planned. I really can see the difference in my jeans, and I repeatedly show my husband the gaps between the different pairs I had worn over the years. I am continuing to be motivated and look forward to hitting that 190 pound goal!


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