Although I'm no longer the new kid on the block when it comes to having lost a lot of weight, I still get asked that question fairly often - and my quick answer can elicit some interesting responses, depending on who is asking.
For example, I'm working on building a relationship with a new doctor - I haven't had a regular doctor for years, and longtime readers may remember my disastrous visit with one who suggested that I needed to get down to 115 pounds. Needless to say, I didn't go back to him. Anyway, my new doctor, who I first saw with my hamstring injury, was going over some medical history with me recently and saw in my chart that I used to be a lot heavier. He asked me THE question, and I matter-of-factly said "a lot of hard work" - and he got the biggest smile on his face. Said he wished he could show me to his other patients, because so many don't want to put in the effort; they want the proverbial magic pill.
Speaking of that magic pill, I can't tell you how many times I've been asked THE question, and when I give my quick response, I see faces fall...do people really think that they'll hear something new and different and wonderful and easy? I understand that hope, I really do. But seriously - if I had a magical way to lose weight I'd be driving a Mini Cooper. Last time I checked, my 2002 Ford Explorer was still sitting on my driveway, so nope...I haven't reinvented the wheel, nor have I profited immensely from this.
I also get emails...people pour out their stories to me, and it breaks my heart to read about their desperation. I've been there. I know how it feels to be willing to spill your guts to a virtual stranger in hopes of getting some help. I also can tell how disappointed they are when I respond with how I did it, because I almost never hear back, despite my asking for them to let me know how they're doing. I rarely tell people what they want to hear when it comes to losing weight. And for that, I'm sorry. It's not easy to lose a large amount of weight. Aside from The Biggest Loser contestants and some people who've had weight-loss surgery, it usually doesn't come off fast. It's not super dramatic after the first few weeks. It levels off and can become maddeningly slow. You have to keep at it until it becomes second nature...and then, you have to continue to do it.
How did I do it? I just kept doing it.
If you're a newer reader, I hope you'll go back and read my archives
from the very beginning. As anyone who has tried to lose weight knows,
it's not an easy journey, nor is it linear...I had many ups and downs
and stalls along the way, and how I look at food and exercise has really
evolved over the last nearly six years. It's not easy to sum up
how I lost the weight; I didn't follow any particular plan...rather, I
muddled my way through the diet and exercise world, and managed to
emerge from it a smaller, healthier person. My meandering path shows that there is not one specific way to lose weight. As I've said many times before, what works for me may not work for you. But nothing is going to work until you start doing something.