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Inspiration To Weight Struggles

For the past couple of days we've asked viewers to Email The Early Show weatherman Dave Price their questions about weight loss, and we've received about a thousand responses.

In a two-part series on Monday and Tuesday's The Early Show, Price shared his personal battle with weight gain and how he succeeded.

On Thursday morning, The Early Show medical correspondent Dr. Emily Senay and Price answer some viewers' personal weight loss questions.

The following are Emails Senay and Price answered:

Motivation:

I am 24-years-old, have three kids, and my husband is currently overseas in Iraq. When he left, I told him that I would be working on losing 40 to 50 pounds by the time he comes home. I have only lost about eight pounds.

I have tried the low carb, high protein diet, the fruits and veggie diet, no bread, no potatoes, no pasta, none of them work for me. I cut some things out and then I crave it a few days later and eat it, then, right back to square one.

I find it very hard anymore to do it. Knowing that I will fail at it. This is the hardest area for me to succeed in. I wake up in the morning and get dressed only to start my day disappointed because all my clothes are too tight.

Just like you, I have never looked at myself as fat, just "a few pounds to shed." I know that I am overweight and need to lose, but I just struggle with getting that motivation each day.

-- Aurelia

Senay says there is a scientific pattern to motivation. She provided the following stages of change.

  1. Precontemplation
    People at this stage are not in the process of changing, nor is it in their immediate plans. Those in this stage are not likely to take kindly to directives. They are not ready to take immediate action.
  2. Contemplation
    People at this stage have begun to realize that there may be a problem. They may still use excuses or denial. Senay says people may spend years in this stage. And, they are a little more receptive to messages and information.
  3. Preparation
    A person at this stage plans to make a change within a month or so, and is usually quite happy to talk about it.
  4. Action
    People in this stage actually begin to live the change.
  5. Maintenance
    In this stage, a person changes his or her behavior and keeps it up for six months. The battle isn't over at this phase, Senay warns. The challenge is to continue on the newer path.
  6. Termination
    The old problem is no longer a temptation or threat. A new life pattern has been established and the old way is a thing of the past.

Portion Control:

My problem is similar to the one that you have. I like to eat. Portions are my problem. When I have pizza I will eat at least half of a large pizza and wash it down with soft drinks. Desserts are another weak spot. Desserts are the first thing that I look at on a menu. Most desserts at restaurants are not portioned for one person, they are usually for two or more people. I will eat the whole thing. I need to cut my portion sizes in half!!!

What do you typically eat during the day?

-- Ritchie
Austin, Texas

Senay says the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends the following portions:

  1. 1/2 cup rice
  2. 1 cup raw leafy vegetables
  3. 1 medium apple/banana/orange
  4. 1 1/2 ounc cheese
  5. 2 ounces chicken

Exercise:

I am 39 years old and I've had a weight problem as long as I can remember. I've tried just about every diet out there. I'm at my all time high now and I'm very upset with myself. I don't have a lot of time to myself to do anything about it. I drive a truck for a living and work long hours. And by the time I get home and fix dinner and take a bath, it's time to go to bed.

I've been married for three years and in that time I have put on over 60 pounds and can't get it off. I live in the country and have to drive 20 miles to a gym and after driving all day I just want to go home and relax. I would love to be able to go to the gym. I have thought about going on weekends, but that's my time to do homework and relax. So, do you know what I can do with so little time to spend on me?

-- Elizabeth

Senay says combining exercise and a good diet is key to losing weight. That exercise can be as easy as taking a 30 minute walk at least three times a week.


Permanent Weight Loss / Support:

I am 5'7" and weigh 148 pounds. Considered obese by doctors, the public, and at times myself. I too used to think I was a little heavy, but not severely overweight, until a doctor handed me a packet on getting the stomach bypass surgery ... Boy was that a wake up for me, and I was terrified to look in the mirror upon getting home.

After that appointment and seeing myself the way I really am. I want so much to lose this weight, but I need some sort of support, and cannot afford to go to a program like Weight Watchers. How can I get support?

-- Desperate In Alabama


Wits End:

I am a 45-year-old woman who can't seem to hit the "sweet spot" or "magic zone" of calories combined with exercise to lose weight. I work out five times a week at the gym. I lift weights, do 30 minutes of cardio on an elliptical trainer and yoga stretching. I drink 64 ounces of water every day and loads of vegetables and fruits. I am so energetic and earnest in my approach toward working out that a few employees at the gym jokingly call me "Rocky." Yet, I can't seem to lose weight! The scale won't budge! I feel great, but BMI calculators say I'm overweight.

I feel I'd have to compete in the iditarod to lose the 30 to 40 pounds I need to shed. Any advice? What am I doing wrong?

Deborah In Denver

Senay says counting calories is important for losing weight. She advises to make sure you're heart rate is in the correct zone while you workout. Also, Senay recommends to vary workouts. If these tips don't help, it may be worth visiting the doctor to find out if there are other medically related problems or seek out a bariatric specialist (a doctor that specializes in weight loss).


From one half the man I used to be, to another half the man you used to be.

On March 18, 2004, I weighed 603 pounds, in a wheel chair, with a death wish. Because a couple of people interfered in my life, when I did not want them to, I now weigh 300 pounds and have a burning mission to help others. I am so pleased to see another person say, "It can be done with no surgeries, or fad diets."

I now understand my mind is what helped me gain the weight, and in my mind was where I found the keys to unlock my body from a prison of fat.

Larry Peterson