The Most Important Actions I took to lose 130 pounds of weight

These are the Most Important Actions I took to lose 130 pounds of weight.  This is what I did in the order I did it.  I still do all of this today and I plan to for the rest of my life.

  1. Watch and reduce portion sizes
  2. Exercise every day for at least ten minutes
  3. Get support from anywhere I could
  4. Learn to breathe
  5. Increase the nutritional value of what I do eat.
  6. Add variety to my diet
  7. Cook the majority of my own food.
  8. Increase my daily calorie intake of nutritious food.
  9. Increase my exercise level to “Intense”
  10. Start Dry Skin Brushing to deal with the emotional side effects of weight loss
  11. Reduce then remove chemicals from my diet and environment.
  12. Increase water drinking to “the sky’s the limit”.
  13. Make my health my number one priority 100% of the time.


Here is a bit more information about each step.

1.  Watch and reduce portion sizes

I learned about portion sizes for the first time in my life on my first day at Spark People.

I was 47 years old without that knowledge.  It has helped me a lot to be able to tell how much of a serving any given piece of food equals.  It has been a lot of work to master and I still work on it.  I at least know that anything bigger than my fist is two servings. That right there will help you in any situation. Stop after two fists worth or food and you did sort of okay no matter what it was.

Oh, Olive Garden! You used to serve me 12 servings of food for $10 back in the day.  And I ate it!

Today I normally sit down and eat half-portions of several foods a few times a day.  Everything has some reason to be eaten as to health.  It mostly all tastes wonderful.  I feel great after eating it.

Sometimes it is work to get myself to that point.  I have to force myself to get the food together and I feel like I don’t need it or want it, but I do it anyway.  Sometimes a lot of food goes back in the fridge, but the vast majority of the time I eat it and like it.

In the old days I ate 3-6 portions of one thing only while standing by the sink.  I felt horrible after I ate it and it didn’t even taste good half the time.  The nutrition was minimal and I was always stuffed and yet starving.

Watching and reducing my portion sizes started me on a path to conscious eating.  I don’t know how you can back up, once on that road.



2.  Exercise every day for at least ten minutes

Another breakthrough from my first day on Spark People.  Both of these items are Spark People Fast Break ideas.  You pick a few of these to get started and then you move on from there. My two choices out of the thirty or so available were the portion control work above and the daily exercise discussed here.

I used to exercise three times a week for 30 minutes to maybe over an hour – whatever my painful body could tolerate.

Chris Downie at Spark People told me to do something, anything for ten minutes each day, every day.  Maybe is a week I could go twelve minutes.  That in itself was a revolution to me.  I didn’t have to hurt my obese, sore body.  I just had to start somewhere – slowly and work up to a bigger workout later.

I moved from a habit of very light exercise every day to adding minutes and intensity over time.  The woman who started with 10 minutes would NEVER believe where she ended up.  This is the most powerful change I made in retrospect.

I’m one of those people who works out when mad now.  I work out when tired, sick – it doesn’t matter.  I crave and need my workouts and I miss them if I don’t have them. The Fat Lady in Accounting who I used to be would not believe this.


3. Get support from anywhere I could

The first support I got was from reading Spark People.  I used everything on the site in the first two years with one exception:

I did not post to the message boards or on anyone’s pages.  I only lurked.

Even though I was in a weight loss forum with other obese people, I was too ashamed to post.  Funny how things got much better when I swallowed my pride a reached out for help.  Be sure to friend me if you join Spark People (username Frenchtosd).


The second support was hiring a fitness trainer and nutritionist when I was able to.  The miracle of working with him is here:

My health knowledge was so poor that all of his rudimentary help was needed.  The more complicated lessons came later. First I had to learn how to eat and exercise.

I know I could not be this thin person today without help. Alone, my knowledge was so confused and my resolve was weak and my abilities were low. Supportive people carried me through my weight loss journey and still support me today.


4. Learn to Breathe

This is a lesson of my Fitness Trainer and Nutritionist:

He taught me to consciously breathe properly while exercising. The difference was night and day and immediate. My workouts are so much more effective when I breathe right.


5.  Increase the nutritional value of what I do eat.

This was easy because I was starting from such a low point, and hard because my gastrointestinal system was so messed up from years of abuse.  I couldn’t taste food or chew well and I didn’t even know what this “real” food was. I just started to make the “better” choice and it snowballed from there.

We are talking about the difference between a baked potato and a french fry or White Bread versus Whole Wheat Organic Bread. I just try to make the better choice when I can. In the beginning I had to work it.  Today, I have no desire for the poor choice at all. It tastes bad, cost too much money and isn’t good for my health. You cannot tempt me.



6.  Add Variety to my diet

I try to buy something new and different each week or so.  Some of those things end up in my healthy diet and make it more interesting. I was a very picky, boring eater before this change.  Now I will eat anything organic once just to try it and maybe it will become a staple after that.




7.  Cook the majority of my own food.

I have to cook for myself now if I want healthy food, I like to eat, that tastes good.  Very few restaurant meals are affordable and healthy for me.  It is very time consuming but much cheaper than the old way I used to eat. Here are my food posts:

This post:

tells you what I do with all these healthy foods when they come into the house. It is not easy to cook if all your organic foods need to be washed a cooked first. The link above has some tips to make sure I always have something I can eat.


8.  Increase my daily calorie intake of nutritious food.

This is a very big step for me.  I used to count all my calories.  Now I only count the healthy calories.  It sounds crazy, but it works for me.  I also don’t count my multivitamin against my vitamin needs as much as I can.  I try to get real food to make up my nutrients.  This is a huge daily challenge and I’m pretty darn good at it now.

Think of calories as fuel. Junk food doesn’t count.


9.  Increase my exercise level to “Intense”

I’m so proud to be able to say I work out at an intense level.  I really do work hard and I do not have to be convinced that I am doing a really hard workout each time I swim or stretch.

A year and a half ago I qualified myself as “Sedentary”  My Fitness Trainer and Nutritionist said I was at least “Moderately Active” and heading towards “Active”.  I knew he was wrong.

But he was right and today I have an intensely active lifestyle.  I am so happy to be able to say that and I will hold onto it as long as I can. I hope you will still be reading about my dune walking and bike-riding as a fit 80 year old.



10.  Start Dry Skin Brushing to deal with the emotional side effects of weight loss

Please consider trying this step at any time in order to start accepting yourself and improve your skin tone and general health.  How I wish this was Step One on my list.  I know it would have made all the other steps go better. The detoxifying effects can be dramatic and difficult. I think it is worth it.

For more information about Dry Skin Brushing, return to:


11.  Reduce then remove chemicals from my diet.

My daily fight to “eat clean” is one that requires constant diligence and attention.  I don’t mind doing it because I feel better eating better.  I wish it wasn’t such a treasure hunt.



12.  Increase water drinking to “the sky’s the limit”.

This is really Step One.  I have always been a good water drinker, but I really push it now.

Oh. How I wish I was perfect. The more water I drink, the better I feel. My newest strategy is a glass of water immediately upon waking in the morning or from a nap.  The water is a nice wake-up call to my body.



13. Make my health my number one priority 100% of the time.

And maybe this is Step One. Until I got the commitment – none of the other steps would be possible. Read about excuses starting here:

That post leads to a series about excuses for obesity and for life in general. Until I worked past my excuses – I was stuck.

I don’t have a problem putting heath number one now.  I have had to prioritize for a long time due to my many health issues coming first, or my kid coming first, or my work coming first or my education coming first.  Today I put my health first.  At least now I have positive results.  Rheumatoid Arthritis is still with me and I still have a heart pacemaker.  Both of those health conditions are markedly easier to manage now that I am thin.

I hope you can start with any one of these steps and join me in saying good-bye to obesity.


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Sharon French Amazon Author Page

Nothing on fitinfun would be possible if I still weighed 275 pounds.

And these are my books for you

                                     Your Weight Loss Journey Overcome Obesity ExcusesDry Skin Brushing Survival Guide 30 Days to Dry Skin Brushing  I Have Loose Skin on My Feet

Your Weight Loss Journey Overcome Obesity Excuses Is your body your biggest regret? Are you afraid you will die a miserable obese death? Bust through your excuses and take charge of your life. You can do it if I did.

Dry Skin Brushing Survival Guide Are you concerned about toxins in your system and looking for an effective and inexpensive home remedy to feel better? Well, look no further.

30 Days to Dry Skin Brushing Get Ready for Detox, Softer Skin and a Fresh Start. If you want to try Dry Skin Brushing but have been hesitating and uncertain, this is the book for you.

I Have Loose Skin on My Feet Do you need a boost? Anyone with sore tired feet who wants to feel better will benefit from the simple, relaxing and inexpensive strategies found here.

Information about my transformation:
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