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"You Did It Once, You Can Do It Again!" .... Right?

Sometimes I'm really amazed at how I lost 50 pounds in the span of around 8 months in 2010. I'm still the same person I was a few years ago, but at the same time so many things are different. I keep telling myself this time around that "Hey! You did this once before and you were awesome! You can do it all again!"

 Well, if only it was that simple.


The truth that I've realized is that past success doesn't guarentee I'll be successful this time. And that just replicating what I did last time will work this time. 5 years is a long time, especially when you're a 20-something and things change quickly. I was just starting a new job, I had never really made any attempts to lose weight before that, and I was starting an entirely new lifestyle as a full time employee living on my own and in a new area. It was really that so many things were changing, why not add in being healthy to all of that. And it worked amazingly well! But a key component of that was being able to give my weight loss effort almost all of my attention and time. I didn't have a boyfriend, I wasn't taking grad classes once or twice a week at night, I didn't socialize as much since I was new to the area and didn't know many people. It was a completely different set of challenges. And I managed to conquer them. But it was basically by being a diet hermit (as I've coined the phrase). I didn't really eat out, so it wasn't an issue to make healthy food at home. I still thought craft beer tasted funny so I didn't drink it. And I wasn't spending large portions of my time staying at someone elses's apartment where I don't have my usual snacks or exercise time.

So I've come to realize that I can't just "redo" what I did 5 years ago.

I think that's an issue a lot of us who are restarting are facing. Everyone thinks "you did it once, it shouldn't be that hard!" But a lot of times the reason we gained back weight is because our lives are different. Now I have a work schedule were I'm working for 7 days straight and getting off on Monday and Tuesday instead of every other weekend. I'm in grad school where I don't get one night a week to eat a normal dinner or workout. And I have my boyfriend, where I spend many of my weekends over there and his health habits don't line up with mine most of the time. And we go out and drink beer and I generally don't workout over there. So I can't just lock myself away for the next 6 months and do this all over again. I have to make it work with the hand I'm dealt now. 

The last week and a half has been focused on all the little things I can do to be successful. I've been much more conscious about choosing food at restaurants, budgeting for the calories (i.e. working out that day to "earn" it), and limiting myself to 2 beers. I've been bringing breakfast, lunch, and snacks to work so I'm not tempted to eat something unhealthy. And most importantly, I've made time for exercise instead of excuses! Working on the weekend isn't always a bad thing, I have time in between satellite passes or after they're complete (usually around noon) to workout at the office gym in the building. It's nice because no one is there. Or I can run on the trail next to work. If I have the day off, I can head ot the gym or fit in a workout at home. And of course, logging on MFP has always been part of hte equation then and now.


The moral of this post is that I totally understand how frustrating it is to hear "you did it once, you can do it again!"  Even I was kicking myself and saying the same thing. Why the heck not?! But it really takes looking at your situation now and adapting. I'd love to have that time back 5 years ago when I could focus 100% on all this, but it's not realisitic. A lot of you have had a kid, gotten married, changed jobs, had an unfortunate life event... and you can't just do everything over again. But we can make it work. I'm hoping all these little things I'm changing add up. So far I'm down about 3 pounds from the day I said I'd had enough, which was 10 days ago. Probably water, but if I hadn't made that change then I would have been worse off. I just have to keep reminding myself that it won't take overnight and that I won't get there if I get defeated now. 

118 votes + -


AidansStarfish wrote 40 months ago:
Loving that you are processing as you go- excellent post.
meganjcallaghan wrote 40 months ago:
gurl preach. Everything changes. Must adapt.
tamhencam wrote 40 months ago:
You definitely have your head in the right place. You have thought it through and now its time to execute your plan.
ajswriter wrote 40 months ago:
I think part of my issue this go-around that is different from the last time is being on birth control. I got to 144 for my wedding, but I was BUSTING ass, spending an unrealistic amount of time, when I had gotten to 134 for my lowest before. Got back into the upper 150s with the honeymoon and holidays and am now stuck again at 152. It's just taking a lot more work because the scale really seems to like being in the 150s. :P I would be happy with 135-140, and I just gotta be disciplined enough to get there and try to stay this time (with exception of hopefully 2 pregnancies).
alexiasuzanne1 wrote 40 months ago:
I needed to read this so bad! You are awesome:)

This is what I have been feeling down to every last word.
celticlass69 wrote 40 months ago:
All what you have said is why I truly believe this is a lifestyle, not a diet, or exercise regiment, but a lifestyle change. We must put ourselves first and in so doing we must make time to make us healthier, be it with food modification or increased exercise. Keep strong you will and can do it! Have faith in yourself!
msshugar2u wrote 40 months ago:
What you said,OOtrayn! Can't add anything to it.We CAN do it. I started feb 18 and have lost 10 lbs that keep going up and down. Not gonna give up.
Here's to the new US.
hozik wrote 40 months ago:
Good to see your blogs again. Keep on fighting the good fight!
Athena703 wrote 40 months ago:
you can make the journey easier by skipping the beers entirely. enjoy a glass of wine instead, or even better, some sparkling water. Alcohol puts the brakes on fat-burning, and the grain-carbs in beer = fat storage.
Anonymous wrote 40 months ago:
Science has now discovered that virtually everything to do with weight loss for both men and women is controlled by one master hormone called Leptin.

Google it or read this article covering Leptin:
mjohnson1twenty wrote 40 months ago:
this is a great post... i find myself adapting to maintenance of a weight that isn't my goal weight right now. i'm learning to continue my routine of food logging, exercise, etc until my body decides to continue it's weight loss. it's scary but we'll make it through with the tools we have in place and our determination. keep up the great work. have a great day~
Stac2004 wrote 40 months ago:
Great post -- I thought maybe I posted something in my sleep because this is exactly me! :-) Thanks for this perspective, very helpful to read.
ferniejoy wrote 40 months ago:
I love your determination! It's so hard for me when other people make the meals, etc, and I don't have control over what goes in them. I disagree with Athena703 who said to skip the beers entirely. My, sister, who is a tea-totaler and doesn't like alcohol at all would give me the same advice and eat two large pieces of cake.This has to be a lifestyle, just as you are making it. 2 beers once a week should be totally manageable. Wine actually has more calories per ounce than beer. No special grain carbs in beer,either.You making adjustments is what this journey is about. Keep it up! You're doing awesome!
courtney_love2001 wrote 40 months ago:
Oh my this is SO me! In 2011 I lost 60 lbs with mfp but I was single, childless, and only went to school half a day. Now it's the opposite of all those things. I'm making small changes in hopes I can lose a decent amount, but it won't be as fast or as easy it seems. It's good to know someone else is struggling too!
SkagitYogini wrote 40 months ago:
I easily lost 40 lbs using MFP a few years ago, then quickly gained half of it back when menopause hit. I was happy to lose first three lbs and then another two, but then the scale stopped moving at all for a couple of weeks, which sent me into a frustrated depression. Thanks for pointing out that my situation has changed, and therefore my approach to weight loss will have to change as well.
suesoyke46 wrote 40 months ago:
Great post!! I figured that after menopause it would be easy to lose the extra weight but I did not factor in that my life has changed since my last weight loss (45 lbs.) and I would have to be more diligent in recording what goes in my mouth and hitting the fitness center more than once a week. Thanks.
jazzyjez wrote 40 months ago:
It's crazy to hear so many with the same story! I lost 50+ lbs 3 yrs ago in less than 6 months. Kept it off for a year! Then started a job without changing any of my other obligations - kids, volunteering, house - and I gained 3/4 back. I'm so afraid that will happen again! I'm trying to take it much slower this time. It's less satifying but I'm hoping the lifestyle changes will stick no matter what comes my way. (My middle son turns 13 today. Two teenagers in the house. I'm holding on for a bumpy ride! And I quit the job! :)
pinkfairy8 wrote 40 months ago:
This is inspiring, thank you
gypsyGIRL159 wrote 40 months ago:
Love it! Thank you for your insight.
00trayn wrote 40 months ago:
I love hearing from others that I'm not alone in this. Life happens! We just have to take control of the choices we make in it.

Also my personal 2 cents on the beer: even when I lost weight the first time, I believe in everything in moderation. I never told myself you can't have any dessert for 6 months or no beer until you hit your goal. If I want it, I earn it and make sure I don't blow my calorie goal getting it in. I have cut back significantly on alcohol because I realize it does impact my progress. But I choose not to give it up because it's not realistic for me. I like rewards and treats on occasion, so i work for it.
ashkinb wrote 40 months ago:
As a repeater after 4 years, I completely agree. Definitely inspiring.
ekaterinip wrote 40 months ago:
You did it once before, "so did I", you can do it again! "You are so worth it, we all are!" Best of luck to you, and everybody else on here, as well!
WilmaChris2015 wrote 40 months ago:
I could've written that!
2014saram wrote 40 months ago:
Love your determination! You are going to make it-- good luck on your journey.
MyChocolateDiet wrote 40 months ago:
I upvoted your blog, the first in months because I can relate and it's a point I missed. Things just arent the same from one time to the next, itight be harder...or easier. Also, I upvoted it in part because AidansStarfish is such an awesome username.
CHRISTCENTERED wrote 40 months ago:
I am so glad i ran into this post. I'm kinda in the same situation. Just about 4 years ago I had good success in weight loss and now over the course of time I picked back up some of my old habits. Now I'm trying all over again back to square one. This time is different and or more challenging. With determination, a little tweaking here and there we all will see the benefits of our sacrifices.
irishguns wrote 40 months ago:
This is very true and I think it's always the cause of a lot of grief. I thought that too, I did it before, I can do it again! But my life circumstances have completely changed since 5 years ago, like yours.
PhotoMica wrote 40 months ago:
Gosh darnit, I can relate to this post so much! I lost 40 pounds in 2012 and after some health issues countered with an extremely stressful/inflexible job, I regained all of my lost weight. I'm at my heaviest weight right now and am now on the verge of having some serious health issues due to my weight. Restarting my weight loss journey has been a complete struggle these last few months. I start with a plan...and within a few days that plan has completely fallen apart. It's aggravating! I feel ashamed and embarrassed that I regained all of the weight I lost plus the extra pounds. I feel hopeless that I will ever regain that power I once had. Today while rethinking my weight loss goals, I realized that what may have worked for me in 2012 may not work this time and that's okay. It's time to think of new ways that will work with current lifestyle and physical fitness level.

Thank you for posting this! Best post I've seen in awhile. <3
AlixStark wrote 39 months ago:
Thank you for writing this! I'm in the exact same boat and needed the inspiration. I lost 100 pounds in 2011-2012 and maintained until 2014 when I got pregnant. I totally lost control, used being pregnant as an excuse to binge, and gained 80 pounds by the time I had my daughter in December. 30 pounds came off right away, but now I'm stuck with 50 pounds of baby weight, PLUS the 50 that I still had left to lose before I got pregnant. Now I'm trying to figure out how to lose 100 pounds again - except with a full time job and 3 month old baby, I don't have the 3+ hours every night to exercise & food prep like I used to. Just going to have to figure out how to make it work for me -now-, not how it worked for me -then-. Thank you for helping me see that I'm not the same person, with the same situation - and so it's unfair to hold myself to the same standards. I'll get there one way or another. =]
Deena_Bean wrote 39 months ago:
It's a true story. I initially lost about 70 pounds and then gained back 20 or so of it. Losing that 20 has been landslides harder. My situation then: broke as hell and a stay at home mom of twins. I couldn't afford to dine out and I was always home so I could take my time to think about and make meals I could eat and lose weight with. Now - twins are nearly 11, I've been working full time for about 8 years now, I have a decent income, I eat out A LOT, and my kids schedules are CRAZY, so there is far less time to make and create and plan meals. Much different - much more difficult. Good luck with your journey - I'm finally adapting to mine (means early morning work outs and weekend planning for meals).
who4fan wrote 39 months ago:
My name is Connie and I am a yoyo dieter! The reason for this is precisely because of life changes, just as you talked about in this blog. Even though my brain recognizes the need for this to be a lifestyle change, my inner fat girl fights me, and some times she wins. I had lost the same 35 pounds at least 5 times, always getting to a certain number on the scale, then something super stressful would happen and up I would go again. Well, I have put that sticking point firmly in the rear view mirror, by 20 pounds. I am 51 and I need to learn to adjust on the fly and make it stick this time.
Mexicanbigfoot wrote 39 months ago:
Um, wow. I have lost track of how many times I have told myself "I did it before, I can do it again". I never stopped to think that since those past successes and restarts, "I" have changed. Thank you for your insight. I am going to stop comparing myself today to myself last year and the year before that. Good luck on your continuing journey!!
Lauriesbigchange wrote 39 months ago:
Yes life throws things in your path which you can't ignore. I agree it was much easier to lose weight and maintain it when I was in University, before kids and a career. Last August I decided that if I were to continue to be able to care for or about anyone else, I first needed to care about me. That's when I took my first step again on a weight loss journey. Those scheduling challenges haven't gone away but I now make the time and prioritize me and my health into that mix of activities we commit to daily.

I'm proud to say I'm winning this battle.

I'm cheering for you too. Good luck.
madelonism wrote 39 months ago:
wow thank you! i was really struggling with this concept, because i had lost 75lbs before and i was in fact a diet hermit with a easy easy job in a town i didnt know with no car. now im a full time student with an amazing and demanding retail job and a reliable car in the city i grew up in. this post really made something click for me, thank you!
tisaria wrote 39 months ago:
YAAAAAAAAAAS! Great post! I am still in the "talk about it, make a plan, but don't follow through" stage. I need to make a daily workout appointment and I would be ok. I had the same thing... big life changes moving to a new city, away from the gym and workout buddy, new relationship, dad succumbing to cancer, etc... and I stopped caring. I care about my health, but apparently only enough to half ass it. Thanks for the inspiration and the push to help me help my damned self out :D Good luck, girlie! You've got this!

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