Skinny Daily Post

Invincible.

Well, here we are, at the beginning of the Skinny Daily Post’s third year. I’m surprised to be writing this, honored that you’re reading it, and anxious to share great news about Skinny Daily in 2005.

My life has changed in a few ways since launching this blog/letter/column thingy. The most important change is that two of my most favorite family members — my mom and dad — have become ill. So I need and want to spend as much time with them as I can. Of course, between my clients and my folks, my workouts and shopping for and eating healthier foods — my writing time has taken a dive. Many of you have noticed that I write quite a bit less these days. I don’t think about you less, you know. I just have fewer opportunities to write it down. I know you understand.

But I have arrived at a great and compelling solution for 2005.

What I’ve always liked least about Skinny Daily is that it’s the sound of one voice, one person, one journey. While I preach that every story is different, everybody’s body and needs are different, still I have only my own experience to share. It puts too much emphasis on one way of going about things. It also has a way of putting me in the center of the story. But I’m not the center of this story — you are. This resource is supposed to be for you.

What I’ve always liked best about Skinny Daily is the community of folks who share what they think, know, feel, and do. I’ve met a lot of wonderful people here and have been helped enormously by many. Today I’d like to introduce you to two of them, because I’ve asked these two to join me in co-authoring The Skinny Daily Post.

My new coauthors share a similar philosophy: this weight loss and fitness stuff is hard work and requires constant focus. My new coauthors share a common state: maintenance. They’ve both lost a significant amount of weight and work hard to keep it off. They both are talented writers and both have ready wits. And their wisdom and kindnesses have helped me in significant ways over the past couple of years. Aside from these things, they are nothing alike, and not at all like me. We are three different birds, coming at things with three points of view.

I believe more voices will make The Skinny Daily Post a much more useful and interesting spot, and much better at fulfilling its goal of providing constant support for people who have taken on the difficult job of losing and maintaining a significant weight loss.

So here we are, three amigos. Let us introduce ourselves:

I’m Jonathan
In a lot of ways, I’m an average middle class, middle American, middle-aged guy worried about my mortgage, how to be happy, saving for retirement, and the like. Not to mention the fact that, like 60 percent of my peers, I spent a significant percentage of my adult significantly overweight. Having lost and gained 20, 30, 40 pounds and more, by the time I reached 40 years old, I was no stranger to the concepts of diet and exercise. At my highest weight, however, something snapped. Or rather, something wouldn’t snap. It was my company’s yearly photograph for the annual report, and the morning of the shoot, I discovered that not one single shirt among the fifteen hanging in my closet was able to button up at the neck. Nothing like having 100 pairs of eyes watch you as you attempt to choke yourself.

There were many other signs along the way — pants that no longer fit, my increasing inability to run any distance, and a seemingly insatiable appetite for sugary, high-fat foods. In the past I had always starved myself down to lower weights, and once reaching my goal, I would immediately revert to my old eating patterns. It was no wonder that my weight chart was like a roller coaster ride. Only when I began, for the first time in my life, to simply WRITE DOWN everything I was eating, did I slowly acknowledge the connection between the energy I consumed, the energy my body used for daily life, and the result.

Now, having maintained a 50 pound weight loss for three years, I am convinced that there really is one significant, overriding factor in weight management success: awareness. Not perfection, not starvation, not consistency, not knowing which choice to make, no: simple awareness about what’s going on. This latter journey could not have been possible without the dozens of people who helped me during the healthy weight loss phase and the hundreds who have helped me strategize, commiserate, laugh, struggle, and maintain.

I’m Jane
Just call me the Queen of Yo-Yo Dieting! I’ve lost and gained hundreds of pounds, close to 1,000. I’m a veteran of WeightWatchers [at goal, even], Atkins, exercise, calorie control, fat control, carb control, OTC diet pills and Ayds (anyone remember them?), starvation diets, small meals, once a day eating, eating two to four pounds of fruit and veggies a day. You name it, I’ve done it.

My health steadily deteriorated until, in the summer of 2001, it gave up. I was hardly leaving my house, friends did my laundry and shopping. It took at least 20 minutes to get out of the car and up a flight of stairs into the house — I had to rest at least tree times on the way. The doctors assured me that I’d be dead within a year.

The Roux-en-Y weight loss surgery offered not only rapid and dramatic weight loss, but, more importantly, it gave me the best chance to lose the weight and not regain it, if I followed the rules. WLS is NOT the answer for everyone. It’s NOT a copout. It’s NOT the easy way out. It’s NOT a way to get around the food control-portion control-exercise-healthy living that everyone else struggles with. But it DOES offer a second chance that, with commitment and hard work, allows me to control my weight.

However, the weekend before my appointment, I landed in the hospital for five weeks, followed by three weeks in a nursing home. My lungs gave out, and I was bedridden, on oxygen. I gained weight while in the hospital, eating an 800 calorie diet. Highest weight: 506.

The long process to become healthy enough to withstand the surgery began. In January 2002, the surgery went much more smoothly than anyone expected, and I’ve lost 275 pounds, and maintained that loss for more than a year.

And now after the surgery, I have to do everything that both Julie and Jonathan, and everyone else has to do: watch what I eat, exercise, drink water, etc. Fortunately, way before the surgery, I’d made tremendous strides in stopping the binging, eating more heathfully, and controlling much (but not all) of the emotional eating. So, just like everyone else, I face a daily but worthwhile struggle.

I’m Julie
For those of you new to The Skinny Daily Post, welcome. I’m Julie and I lost a little over 100 lbs. (can’t be sure because I simply stopped weighing myself after awhile) in 2001. I’ve kept quite nearly all of the weight off for the past three years. I lost weight with the help of a weight loss clinic, doctors, nurses, dietitions, many hours of counseling, physical rehab. The first 50 lbs. came off with the help of lots of exercise and food supplements. The next 50 even more exercise along with the American Diabetes Association diet with my own twist: no flour, no added sugar. It looked a great deal like the South Beach diet, actually, except that I did count calories, every single one, and counted the minutes of exercise, too.

My interest these days is in finding ways to remain interested in daily exercise. I also love reading the writings of public health school nutrition scholars who are trying to solve problems of food availability and obesity, food messages and food psychology. I am easily drawn into conversations about cultural norms, ideas of beauty, images of health, fattism, women and health messages, and children and good health.

Be mindful, please, that we write here to support you, and are always interested in hearing what you need. Please, too, keep in mind that if you find this work helpful, we hope you’ll show your support by donating what you can to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (www.jdrf.org). Please mention The Skinny Daily Post in your giving.

Thanks for reading, and Happy New Year!

About The Skinny Daily Post

27 thoughts on “A Skinny New Year

  1. Melody says:

    Juju~ Happy New Year and I think of you often. will send prayers for Mom and Dad also. so sorry to hear the news. I can well understand the need to share the writing. I have been very busy these days too and have missed our “time” together. a big hello to Jonathan and Jane!! makes me wish my name started with a “J”. Maybe Jolly?!? LOL
    take care you 3 and stay well. good luck on the 3 amigo venture. so glad I decided to stop by today and say Happy New Year or I would have missed this post! Love, Mel

  2. Traci says:

    Hello,

    I am looking for information on non-surgical tighting of belly skin I have lost over 150 lbs in a short period of time, I am looking for a way to tighten up lower belly skin, creams or message? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank You

    Traci

  3. Debbi says:

    Welcome, Jonathan and Jane. Skinny Daily supports my efforts in more ways than I can count, and I look forward to reading your thoughts, as well as Julie’s, as I continue to trudge this road to health.
    Wishing Julie well as she works with her parents, supporting them through their illnesses and learning about herself in this new phase.

  4. Sherry says:

    JuJu:
    First of all , sorry to hear that your parents are both not feeling well. But I am sending positive thoughts your way concerning that… I wanted to thank you for continuing to write despite all that has been going on with you… The next thing… thanks for recognizing that you need help… smart cookie…
    and lastly thanks for including a gastric bypass person in the crowd… I have undergone this surgery recently and I am having good success where I failed at soo many other… I am looking forward to this even more now.. it is helpful.. but we still have to exercise, eat right, and drink …. so again thank you soo much…
    sherry.

  5. Katz says:

    Greetings to the two new folks! And thank you JuJu for including Jane as one of your Columnists.

    Jane writes:
    “WLS is NOT the answer for everyone. Its NOT a copout. Its NOT the easy way out. Its NOT a way to get around the food control-portion control-exercise-healthy living that everyone else struggles with. But it DOES offer a second chance that, with commitment and hard work, allows me to control my weight.”

    This has been so very true for me as well and I’m looking forward to hearing from a peer also dealing with the day-to-day things that crop up in maintaining what Ive worked so hard for the past 2 years to accomplish.

    I also look forward to the new insights two fresh minds can offer in concert with JuJus often right on target advice and the wealth of information she has provided in the past

    This site is the first thing I check each morning, even before email!

    Katz

  6. Laura says:

    I look forward to reading what Jonathan and Jane have to say.
    Julie- I have been reading you on and off for sometime now and always enjoy your insight and thoughts. I am sending you positive thoughts regarding your parents.
    Laura

  7. Susan says:

    JuJu, I wish you the very best of outcomes as you, together with your parents, face their health problems. You will never regret, of course, the time you’re devoting to their needs. I’ve been in your position, have lost both parents, and am acutely aware of what you’re facing.

    At the same time, I very much welcome the words of Jonathan, Jane and Julie, who’ve used various methods to combat this VERY frustrating problem of obesity.

    My best to all of you in 2005.

    Susan

  8. Dee says:

    I have been lurking and reading for a few months now and have decided to say hello at the beginning of 2005. Your column has meant alot and I really enjoy your perspective…I am 2 lbs away from loosing 100 and another 200 from goal (so 1/3 of the way there)…I have not have GBS just old fashioned WW with a twist, I do it completely online…just me and my computer and scale…and it is working…but I do have an appointment with a surgeon in Aug 2005 (the appoinment was made in Aug 2004)…gives you some idea of the wait list situation…guess what I am trying to say is thanks for all of your perspectives in advance, because I am trying to be at a 150 or more loss by the time I see the surgeon which should allow me to decide if I want to do this or not…the GBS…so having your thoughts on both weightloss the traditional way and weightloss thru surgery is valuable…

    Julie…best of all to you and your parents and welcome to Jonathan and Jane…I am looking forward to your stories and thoughts…and yes…I do remember Ayds…scary eh! 😉

    Cheers, Dee

  9. Mona says:

    Julie, sorry to hear about your parents, and understand your need to spend more time with them. Your posts have helped me more than you will ever know!

    I look forward to getting to know Jonathan and Jane, and learning from them as well.

    I just want to say welcome to you both.

  10. Martha says:

    I love to work out and watch what I eat but I have a problem with alcohol, therefore, it’s been a slow steady weight loss. Alcohol has really taken over my life. I still work out but usually have to drink alot of water because i’m always dehydrated. Please help!!!

  11. MP NY says:

    Thanks for including a person familiar with Gastric Bypass!

  12. JuJu says:

    Hi gang,

    Thanks for all the encouragement. I’ve heard from many of you here and by email who have been where I am, and your wisdom is so encouraging. Thanks, thanks, thanks!

    Martha! When you say Alcohol has taken over your life, do you mean you can’t deal with the extra calories? Or do you mean you can’t control yourself around alcohol? If it’s that, I’d love to help, but I don’t know much about alcohol addiction. The best resource online I know is good old AA. Find them at http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org

    If you mean you can’t deal with the calories, then I can commiserate, but these days I notice at clubs and parties most people are cutting their alcohol consumption, drinking sparkling waters every other drink, spritzers, etc., to keep alcohol calories low. They are pretty empty calories. I prefer to use my calories for more nutritious stuff.

  13. T says:

    Good for you, JuJu, for recognizing your priorities and (once again!) taking the steps you need to take. As difficult as it is to deal with a parent’s illness, it opens up tremendous opportunities to give and receive love and to say things that might otherwise go unsaid. So I wish you peace and love as you deal with your mom & dad’s illness. Be sure to take care of yourself, okay?
    Thanks, too, for your good judgement in including Jane. I chose Weight Watchers; a family member chose GBS, yet I’ve always believed we have more in common than different. And isn’t that true for most of us, anyway?
    And yes, I too, remember Ayds.

  14. Gingerose says:

    Hello every one I also was a lurker but need to get out in the open and get this weight OFF..Its incourageing to see that one of us has joined WW.on line and having success because thats what I want to do..
    Also have a family member that is wanting
    to have a bypass surgery and will be able to get them information..Gingerose

  15. Cheri says:

    JuJu…your parents wlll in my thoughts and prayers. Please keep us posted on how they are doing. Your thoughts and insights always inspire me and a legion of others and it’s our turn to send our help back to you.

    I lost almost 40# on WW 2 years ago and have maintained with the help of Curves (3-4 time a week) playing tennis 3-4 times a week and being ever vigilant in what I eat. I’m 61 years old and look and feel at least 10-15 years younger these days!

    Martha-I have found when I want a glass of wine (or two?) I do two things; 1. drink a glass of water and club soda and see if I STILL need that wine and 2. Get on the exercise bike and ride for 30 minutes to offset some of the calories. Of course if you’re out in public, the bike won’t work! Good luck – I know about those empty calories showing up!

    Hi to Jane and Jonathon! Your two new perspectives will be great!

  16. Jane says:

    Juju, I enjoy your newsletter and wanted to send best wishes regarding your parents. I lost my dear mother in law in November and my beloved mom in December. Please treasure every moment you can spend with your parents.

    I look forward to reading Jane and Jonathan’s posts as well!

    Jane

  17. Kaye Letskus says:

    Hi Julie—

    I was afraid you were going to end the Skinny Daily and am thrilled with your solution…. You are incorporating the exact same formula that I believe ( finally) is the core of any successful program…. Support and different points of view…

    My very best to you and your family… this is a special time for all of you…

    I am looking forward to future Skinny Daily essays !

    Kaye

  18. taylore says:

    Happy New Year Julie! I love you and I love your writing. I am truly sorry to hear about your parents’ illness. I think prioritizing is important, and spending time with family and loved ones is at the very top of that list. Interestingly, because of YOU, I now realize that falls directly under TAKING CARE OF MYSELF. So make sure you do that too. Hugs! Oh and welcome Johnathn and Jane 🙂

  19. Sandi says:

    As a past caregiver to my Mum I know how important time is. Take gentle care of yourself as well.
    I have loads to lose and start “dieting” on Mondays only to fail by Wednesday. I hope to gain strength and knowledge (as if I don’t know what to do) here in the posts and just maybe someone will spark a nerve with me to stay with a program once and for all. I am so afraid of failure again. Sandi

  20. Leslie says:

    Today is the day I try again. I am joining a gym tonight with one of my friends. And, I started on Suzanne Somers’ diet that helped me loose weight last year. But, it’s Noon and I have already had a small piece of chocolate. Why do I do this to myself? It’s gotten so bad that when I bend I can’t breath anymore…and I come up out of breath…Oh well…I will try again and again and again…and I will succeed one day. maybe that one day it today.

  21. Joan says:

    In response to Jane’s recent post about accepting our new bodies, I wanted to recommend a wonderful book — Passing For Thin by Frances Kuffel. It’s for everyone who has ever wondered how to function and behave in a new body after weight loss. I think it’s a treasure.

  22. Barb says:

    Greetings! I want to tell you how much your Skinny Daily Post has meant to me and how it is so much a part of my weight-loss journey. Thanks!

    Juju – I am sorry about your Mom and Dad and think you are really doing the right thing to spend as much time with them as you possibly can. And just think, you have the healthy body to do that now!

    Jane and Jonathan – I am enjoying reading the posts that you two are writing. Isn’t it amazing how our lives overlap in our struggle with weight-loss and maintenance. Reading all of your stories, although not identical to mine, is about like reading about my own life.

    Having lost and gained weight over and over and over and… well, you get the idea, for so many years, I am thankful to read that I am not the only one who has struggled with this concept of permanent weight loss maintenance. I have decided that 2005 is the year I reach my goal weight (again!) and maintain it for as long as the good Lord allows me to live on this earth.

    Thank you all for being here for us every day. It is “onward and downward” as my friend Annie says.

  23. Alexa says:

    thanks for all your work here! i love reading this.

    i too have done WW online–95# gone! and 32 to go…

    this is the first time i’ve come here. i’m excited to check this out! thanks again!

    and i just about DIED when i read the illustration credits for Marie-Claire “this one time at band” Camp! LOL!!

  24. Millie says:

    Would lie to receive skinny daily post. Thanks

  25. coni says:

    juju … prayers with you as you care for mom, dad, and yourself as well. i’m new to this ‘online stuff’ … we’ll see how it goes … we all have interesting stories with one single thread of commonality … strength to each and everyone as we strive to accomplish our goals!
    coni

  26. Patsy says:

    I have enjoyed reading all the posts, I have lose 60 pounds and still need to loss another 90 pounds. It’s nice to see that it can be done, My sister had the bypass susrgery and lost 175 pounds, I was thinking about doing that as well but thought I would give it one more try, Thank to TOPS AND CURVES, I think I can realy do it.

    Patsy

  27. anne says:

    Hello! I’ve lost 70 pounds over the past year by doing Curves 5 to 6 days a week and following LA Weight Loss Plans. I have 25 pounds to go and I’m stuck. I can’t stick to the diet consistently and haven’t lost any weight in 3 months. I’m scared to death! Help!

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