I am currently at my ideal weight...BUT I did lose 70 pounds without a support system when I was in high school...
Growing up in a house that stressed the importance of (ALWAYS) cleaning one's plate, no matter what was on it, and living three houses down from my grandmother's, where there was always cornbread, fried food, and sweets aplenty, made it difficult to muster the willpower to lose weight. Before I hit puberty, I didn't really have any awareness of my own body, didn't give a flying fart about mirrors, my appearance, or my HEALTH. I was too busy being a child, and children (naturally) want what they want and have no concern about what it does to them.
I hit puberty at 12, and sometime when I was 13 I suddenly became "aware" of myself. I was in eighth grade, and I weighed 240 pounds. I was hurting myself and I felt repulsive. I became angry and resentful towards my parents and grandparents for allowing me to do this to myself, and I was determined to get rid of this weight.
I stopped drinking soda. This was of utmost importance, as I was drinking about 4-5 (cans) a day. Yes, I had horrific caffeine withdrawal for about two weeks, but after that I was fine. Luckily for me, although I live in Mississippi, my entire family hails from northern states. So, even though my grandmother did wholeheartedly adopt southern cuisine, sweet tea was never embraced, which I am thankful for, as I always had access to the giant pitcher of decaffeinated unsweet tea my grandmother always kept (and still keeps
) in the fridge.... Of course water is good, too, but...it gets old.
I started riding my bike to school every day. It was only a 5 minute car ride to my school, but riding a bike (Embarrassing side note: I had to teach myself how to ride a bike at thirteen because my dad's manner of "teaching" scares me) made for a 20-minute one way ride, which totaled about 3 1/2 hours of exercise per week. Any consistent walking/ running/ biking route you can take up can become an invaluable asset to your health.
I changed my eating habits. This was...difficult to say the least. I spent long periods of time alone at my house, which meant I had unfettered access to the fridge...and all the REALLY tempting stuff was only a short walk to my gramma's house away. Through sheer willpower I limited myself to a bowl of cereal for breakfast every morning and a salad for lunch. I snacked mostly on carrots, cantaloupe, and pineapple, and when my mom made dinner, I cut my portions in half......all the extra time I acquired from not eating went directly into masturbating, which kept my stress levels down :p
I let my inner fatty out on occasion.....meaning.. ..Sundays. I still go to my gramma's house every Sunday, and pig out like there's no tomorrow, but I rationalize my actions by telling myself that she won't always be around to make cauldrons of chicken and dumplings, so I might as well take advantage of it while I got it... and allowing time for pigging out once and a while makes it easier to not pig out the rest of the time.
Those things got my weight down to 170 by the time I was 15. Once I married, my weight balanced out around 180, which is where I am today, all nice and stable. I think it's a good weight for me. I'm only sort of tallish, but I have a pretty massive build and a lot of muscle. I feel healthy, which is good enough for me. Now that I'm in charge of all the grocery shopping, I've added a few more things:
Raw vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and unprocessed meats comprise most of my shopping list. Lists such as this
are a good starting place for finding cheap and healthy foods. Frozen vegetables are a really convenient way of stocking up on veggies without worrying about the shelf lives of raw veggies or the sodium content of canned ones.
I cut out high fructose corn syrup. If I have to get my sweet on, I always go for sugar instead of HFCS, as it is the lesser of two evils. Commercials would have you believe they are the same, but they also want you to continue to buy their cheaply-sweetened crap. Basically, whereas sugar has equal parts of bound fructose and glucose that have to be broken down by the body before being stored, HFCS has unequal parts of unbound fructose and glucose, which don't have to be broken down, so the body can send them straight away to doing nothing without lifting a finger.