"No one understood that when you are very large, even holding up your
body for a three-minute shower is a painful, and sometimes nearly impossible,
feat. Walking around the block, it's just impossible."
For the group of people doctors call "morbidly obese" -- those
struggling to lose 100 pounds or more -- losing weight is fraught with
challenges others may never imagine.
"When you're large, the same weight loss and exercise rules don't apply.
They can't apply, but nobody really gets that, not even many doctors," says
Goetze, whose company aims to address the needs of what she says is this
From bathroom scales that can't measure your weight, to exercise equipment
built for someone half your size, to the health problems associated with being
extremely overweight, frustrations abound.
What's more, experts say, the nuts and bolts of dieting -- including caloric
intake -- is different for those who need to lose a lot.
"You can't just toss a very overweight person the latest diet book or
piece of exercise equipment and expect it to work. There is a whole different
mindset to large-scale weight loss, and a whole different approach becomes
necessary," says Warren Huberman, PhD, a behavioral consultant for the
surgical weight loss program at New York University Medical Center.
That can make finding the right diet plan a challenge. But fortunately for
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members, the WLC eating plan takes current weight and
calorie intake into consideration, rather than setting a
"one-size-fits-all" calorie limit.
So where do you begin, and how do you stay motivated, when your goal is to
lose 100 pounds or more? Three weight loss experts -- including one who shed
nearly 400 pounds herself -- offer these 10 strategies to set you on the right
1. Seek Supervision.
"The more overweight you are, the more likely you need to be monitored
-- and the more you need some type of medical supervision, at least at the
start," says Janet Finestein, MS, RD, a nutritionist and dietitian at the
Comprehensive Weight Loss Center of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.
Because obesity contributes to other health problems, including high blood
pressure, high cholesterol, and insulin resistance, Finestein says medical care
is a must.
"Sometimes uncovering these health risks and getting treatment can also
help you lose weight," says Finestein. "For example, learning how to
control your insulin levels may also help you control your hunger, and that can
make your weight loss much easier."