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    How do I start to make a change?
    An_249893 posted:
    Hi.[br>[br>This is my first post. I'm 22 years old and have struggled with my weight my whole life. I've always been the chunky kid and it's time to finally make a change. I went out and bought a scale yesterday and faced it for the first time in years. I weighed in at 380 pounds. It is so embarrassing. Other people my age are strong and healthy and I can't even go up the steps. I have to use an electric scooter to get around. The last time I went to my doctor was at age 18 when I was at 310 pounds, my whole life my doctor has told my parents they needed to make a change, but I snuck food and have fought them. I hit 100 pounds by the time I was 8 years old, was over 150 by 12 years, hit the 200+ mark by 15, and was into the 300s by 16. I have made an appointment for Friday with a new doctor to have a full work up and then will start making a change. I have tried every diet out there and they have all failed. I don't want to die. My joints ache, my heart races, and I can barely breath properly.[br>[br>My BMI is 70.1, and I have to lose 260 pounds to be into the ideal range. I feel like it will never happen!
    mommaxeli responded:
    I haven't posted on this forum in months, but for some reason your post has stuck out to me so I feel a need to respond!
    The answer to your question is: you have already started to make a change! By making an appointment with your doctor, you've taken the first step. Make sure your doctor knows your plans for weight loss. Don't just let them do the workup and leave you hanging with the results and not knowing what to do with them.

    Once you've gotten the OK from the doc, I suggest choosing ONE exercise goal and ONE eating goal to work on per week. Changing everything at once can be very overwhelming.

    For instance, one thing you can change right now until your doctor appointment is changing what you're drinking. Drink water. Period. There's no nutritional need for juice and DEFINITELY no need for soda or other sugary drinks, even diet sodas. Next week, you can make an effort to exchange all your dairy products for low-fat or non-fat versions. Continue following those goals, and the next week try adding a fruit or veggie to every meal and snack. Then replace all your grains/pasta with whole grain versions. So and and so on. Week after week, those changes will really add up! You don't need to "diet" to lose weight! Ask your doctor what an appropriate amount of calories is reasonable for you to consume and lose weight. Keep track of your calories using the WebMD tracker or another (there are quite a few free ones!)
    After your appointment, set some exercise goals. If you're not healthy enough to walk, there are many seated exercise programs out there. You can even find some free ones online. If your doctor believes you're healthy enough to walk, start by replacing just one time each day that you'd normally use your scooter and walk instead. Slowly increase the times you walk and decrease your scooter use. Then (probably after another OK from the doc) you can intentionally start an exercise program, most likely walking for a certain time or distance and slowly adding more each week. You will also want to look into some resistance (weight) training. I learned the hard way that you will lose muscle when you lose weight if you don't make efforts to preserve it!
    There is a lot of information out there. There is also a lot of misinformation. It can be overwhelming; be discerning about information you come across (yes, even info I've just given you! I'm not an expert...just someone that's been there and done it!) You can do this. It is possible. It won't be easy but it is manageable. And totally worth it!
    SW: 260 CW: 155 GW:145.
    seeit2 replied to mommaxeli's response:
    Mommaxeli - I've been a lurker here for a long time and I think that is some of the best advice I've read here. It is practical and reasonable and best of all do-able. I think goal-setting is under-rated when it comes to weight loss - and setting *reasonable* goals are the real trick to finding success IMHO.
    smac01 responded:
    mommaxeli has given you the best advice in the world, and I am so glad I took the time to read this, because it truly helped me. I have been struggling with weight a long time too! The only advice I would add is try to find someone to hold you accountible! That's where I struggle the most. I do good for a while, but then loose interest. Try to find someone to help you with this challenge you are facing! and try to set something to work toward. Last year I lost 20 pounds in three months, just training to walk/roll a 5K. I cannot walk either, I wear two artificial legs, but I use a wheel chair and rolled it. Mybe you don't have to plan something as big as that, but plan that in 3 months you try to walk around the block. Just take it one step at a time. first day walk down the drive, next work up to the next house. any physical activity you start doing will help! And Always Drink Water!

    Good Luck, I wish we could somehow exchange emails, I would love to hear your success story in a few months! Just keep moving!

    Good Luck!
    skeeterk responded:
    Glad to hear you're starting to make a change! Mommaxeli has given you some great ideas to start out with. You're only 22 so you are young enough to make the changes that will last a long lifetime ) If you're in a wheelchair for now, start working your upper body. You can lift soup cans if you like. Anything to get your heart to start working a bit harder for you. Raise your legs while sitting in your wheelchair and start building up the durating you do the arm and leg lifts. In no time you'll be out of the chair and hitting the streets to keep movin! Start reading new recipes on line to see what will inspire you to cook healthy.
    Most of all GOOD LUCK!! Stick with it!
    WestCoastFL responded:
    You have gotten some excellent advice. I am so cheering for you and know that you can make great progress by working and improving bit by bit over time. I've found to be a wonderful FREE site for information on weight loss and fitness plus food trackers and wonderful groups and individuals that are ready to help and encourage you in any way. You can join a group that has the huge challenges that you have and get lots of support as you progress or when you need help through the tough times.
    Let us know how you are doing and stay strong and determined.

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