My Journey Begins With The Scariest Thing I’m Ever Going To Share

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I’m going to be doing something scary in a few minutes but first I need to set the stage and tell a bit about what’s leading me to do it.

It’s no secret that I’m a plus sized girl I’m short at 5’2 but according to my doctors I’m obese or to use the very technical term, morbidly obese. Yeah, scary right, well that’s not the scary part I’m going to do. That will come later.

I’ve tried everything to lose weight. When I was in high school I went on the Atkins diet. I joined the health club but I HATE exercising. In my early 20’s my doc sent me to a diet doctor and I lost about 30 lbs. Went from a tight size 13-14 to a size 5 in a few short months. Sadly to say that didn’t last and the weight piled on again plus more.

I tried Jenny Craig. They said you’d be transferring your grocery bill to them and yeah, that’s true BUT what they don’t tell you is you still need to go to the grocery store to feed the rest of your family and to buy the fruits and vegetables you need to supplement the food you buy from them so you’re actually spending MORE than you were in the first place. Not to mention their counselors yelled at me if I messed up on my eating that week. Who needs that, after all I’m paying you to help not beat me down.

I tried diet pills and they left me jittery and I couldn’t function so that was no good.

When I was diagnosed with diabetes in 2009 I cut out my regular, sugar laden Pepsi and started counting carbs and I lost 30 lbs in 30 months and felt great. Still considered morbidly obese but it was a start. Problem is, 30 lbs was all I could lose.

7 weeks ago Don and I joined TOPS. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of TOPS but it’s been around for years. They have chapters and meetings all over the country. My mom use to belong in the 60’s and I remember her going to meetings and she would tell me if you gained weight you had to wear a pig nose and sit in the pig pen. Well, thankfully they changed and it’s no longer like that.

TOPS stands for Take Off Pounds Sensibly. It’s not a diet but a support group. As a matter of fact, there’s no diet to follow and you can do whatever it is that works for you, they just give a place to weigh in, get applause for losing and support and encouragement if you gain. There is a yearly fee to belong which is $26 a year and if you join as a couple it’s $13 for the spouse. There’s also monthly dues and where we go it’s $5 a month but the meetings are so much fun. There’s weigh-in and if you lose you get to ring the bell. When they do roll call you tell if you gained or lost. No one but the weight recorders need to know who much you gained but of course if you lose you want everyone to know. As they do the roll call if you lose everyone applauds and if you gain they just say “see you lighter next week”. There’s a prize for the biggest loser that week and monthly awards for first 10 lbs, first 20 lbs, best loser of the month, best loser of the quarter and those that had a loss each month for the quarter. We have programs presented by different members each week and then there’s games. The games of course have to do with weight loss. There are also area events and awards for those.

So, since we’ve been going for 7 weeks Don’s lost 25 lbs and I’ve lost 7. I did lose 8 but the last 2 weeks I gained so that put me up a pound. I feel like that woman in the SlimQuick commercial.

I’m disgusted with myself since what I’m doing isn’t working. You see, Don counts calories and I don’t want to be that strict so I felt if I keep track of my carbs and just cut back I’ll do fine. WRONG. What I’m finding is my cutting back isn’t really regulating how much I’m eating as I sneak an extra spoonful here and there. I think I’m eating one serving but I’m probably eating more like 1 1/2 servings. Also just because a food is low in carbs doesn’t mean it’s lower in calories. It’s the calories that make you gain and lose weight and since I don’t exercise I’m not burning the calories so I need to get less of them another way and that means I need to start keeping a food diary and count calories.

Each week I’m going to report my progress, If I lost I’ll let you know and anything I did differently that week. If I gain I’ll be honest and tell where I failed.

Now for the scary part, my actual weight. Remember I’m 5’2″ and I had my doctor set my goal weight at 150 lbs. I feel that’s a good start and when I get there we can reevaluate and if I want to go less I can have him give me another goal. My actual weight as of today at TOPS was 250.2 lbs so I have 100.2 lbs to lose to hit my goal. That is a lot better than the 287 I was in July 2009 when I stopped my Pepsi but still way too much.

Since I hate having my picture taken (you can see a recent one of me here) I will get brave and in the next couple of weeks post a picture of me now and then periodically at milestones I’ll get more up so you can see the progress. I’m hoping this time I’ll actually stick to it and not give up. I can say though the accountably of the meetings and facing that scale each week is motivation to keep going.

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About Dee

Dee Landrygives honest opinions and views on various topics, products and life. She also shares recipes and her life with her family and puppies.


  1. Good luck on your new weight lost adventure. You know I remember hearing about Tops when I was younger, I think my aunt was a member.

    I can't wait to hear about your progress.

  2. I feel your pain. I've been there; it's so, so hard and yet another daily struggle but the great thing is it can be done 🙂 In 2010 I weighed in at 250lbs now I have lost 92lbs

    I know 100lbs to lose seems impossible, may I suggest to make goals in 10lbs increments that way it doesn't seem so daunting and does help with self confident boost. That's so cool with TOPS and the prizes they have, fun way motivate!
    I do highly recommend writing everything down, it's such a pain in the butt no lie but a huge help. After roughly three months of doing that I was able to eyeball the right portion sizes and just made it so much easier in the end.

    Sorry I'm rambling, I just feel so strongly about women and weight loss issues and want everyone to know that they can and will do it. Best of luck to you and remember that you can do it!!!

  3. Good luck! I am in the same relative boat as you. I need to get my big ole butt into gear and lose my extra poundage.

  4. Karen says:

    I am a big girl too–I don't know my exact weight because I don't have a scale in my house, but probably the same as you. I need to do this along with you. Oh, and don't worry that Don is losing more than you–men always lose weight faster than women do.

  5. Rachel says:

    You can do it!

    I've been obese and I'm in the process of slimming down (7 lbs so far). I've done the calorie counting before, which worked, but now that I work more I just try to be somewhat moderate. I agree with AStarrA, that writing down your food (and exercise) is good for accountability. I try to go to the gym 3 times a week, but I don't beat myself up if I don't. My new secret is writing down what they do on the Biggest Loser and doing that. Working out may not be fun now, but once your body gets used to it, the adrenaline and endorphines that come from it will have you going back for more. I'm finding it's not just the weight, but perhaps the inches I should be keeping track of. A woman's body just fluctuates with water weight so even if you do your best you could end up gaining.

    Good luck and I can't wait to see your progress!

  6. Good Luck! You can do it!!!

  7. Nicole says:

    Don't get discouraged! Men lose weight quicker than women. You can do it ! It will be the greatest thing you can do for yourself and those who love you.

  8. ((HUGS)) I know what you're going through. I gained a bunch of weight after I got married. At the time (and we didn't know this), my husband had a hyperactive thyroid and was eating anything and everything and losing weight. I was eating right alongside him, with a normal thyroid, and packing on pounds.

    Probably 13 or 14 years ago, he went out of town for work and was gone several weeks. I started following Atkins/Low Carb and I lost a lot of weight. Problem was, I couldn't eat like that when he came home, and I don't want to eat like that every day. I want to enjoy a variety of foods and be happy.

    So, I gained it all back.

    A little over a year ago, I was diagnosed with fatty liver disease. Basically, the doc said that if I didn't lose weight, the fatty liver disease could progress into something terrible and fatal. So, after years of avoiding it, I started taking diet pills.

    I've lost a little over 20 pounds. I feel fine. Because of the appetite suppressant, I'm satisfied with less. If I forget to take my pill, I get voraciously hungry. I'm more or less plateauing now, and my “weight loss specialist” said that, like you, I need to actually count calories.

    I just can't figure out an easy and sensible way to do that. I don't have a smartphone. I can't look up calories when I'm at a restaurant. I don't want to use a measuring cup when I have a bowl of cereal. How do I know how many calories are in the heaping teaspoonful of mac and cheese I ate today at the family Thanksgiving?

    I guess what I'm saying is, if you figure out some method of counting calories that works in normal situations where you don't prepare every mouthful of food you eat at home with pre-measured ingredients, let me know.

    Good luck to you!


  9. Dee says:

    @Storm Safety Blog
    As my husband keeps telling me it's not an exact science. That 1 heaping spoonful I just figure out I ate 1/4 serving. If I eat in a restaurant I may not be able to know the amount of calories but if I choose healthy and don't have dessert I don't worry about it as everyone can mess up for one meal, it's when I feel I've messed up and dump the diet altogether because I feel guilty or sorry for myself that I run into problems.

    My problem is when I add a spoonful and nobody saw me I'll add a bit more and a bit more and suddenly that one spoonful is equal to one serving and since nobody saw me and it was a little at a time I don't count it.

    For cereal I do find one serving as marked on the box is satisfying, at least for oatmeal it is. I don't like instant oatmeal and I was eyeing what I made and my bowl was overflowing. Now I measure 1 cup of water and 1/2 cup of oats and it's a perfect serving size.

    When I was diagnosed with diabetes and my fasting glucose levels were over 400 I had to start measuring. I couldn't limit myself to so many carbs per day but so many per meal and no saving from one meal to the next so I felt so restrictive eating that way. I still have to watch my carbs but not as much as I did before since after doing this for 2.5 years I can pretty much know how many carbs I'm eating. I have found out 1 carb serving which is 15 gms might be fine and eat 3 servings for my 45gms of carbs for that meal which is fine for the diabetes but I've now had over 1000 calories which is not good for weight loss.

    I've discovered out over the years, what works for one won't work for someone else as each person is different with different personality types. I don't like the rigidity of calorie counting and thought cutting back would work. Some like the accountability of calorie counting and journaling.

    What it all comes down to is how many calories equals 1 pound and getting less than that in a week to lose. You can exercise more and burn off that many calories or eat less. Some would rather exercise but I'm not that person. I do plan on adding walking but keep putting it off.

  10. Just wanted to send you some words of encourage. I know you can do it–Good Luck!

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