Do you want to succeed with Nutrisystem?

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I wrote this blog today (4/20/09) and HappyHoward asked me to post it here in the General Support Forum. I hope someone finds it helpful or encouraging..


Do you want to succeed with Nutrisystem? Here's how:.

This is probably going to be one of those blogs that raises a stink here in Blogland, but this just kept going through my mind while I was running today. Let me start with the disclaimer that this is NOT directed at anyone. It is a general observation.

I have been on Nutrisystem since October 17, 2008. That's 27 weeks. I intend to lose about 80 pounds. So far I have lost 43.5 pounds which is about 1.6 pounds per week. Some weeks I lost 4, some I lost zero. Sometimes I stayed the same for weeks on end.

But here's the thing...I just stuck with the plan. I drink 10-12 glasses of water each day. I exercise most days - at first it was walking the dog more often, then I increased to walking faster alone, now I run and walk the dog and do Pilates. It's amazing how much better one feels without the excess weight. I eat on program - whether it is actual Nutrisystem foods or substitutes that fit in calorie/fiber/carb/protein-wise.

No, I don't think I'm perfect. I have consumed about 8 glasses of wine in the last 27 weeks. I had a small hot fudge sundae on vacation and a piece of baklava. There have been pizza bites. I still forget to eat sometimes. Occasionally I long for foods I know are not good for my health.

And I know that losing this weight is going to be good for my heart, mind, joints, and other organs. Plus I am going to look better and have more energy for fun things..

I get cranky when I read about new members who are ready to throw in the towel after 3 days or a week or two. I want to scream when I hear about people who don't eat all of their prescribed calories for the day - STARVATION IS BAD - you won't lose weight if you don't fuel your body. How long did it take to put on this weight people? I didn't wake up one day with 80 pounds to lose. I woke up and REALIZED I had 80 pounds to lose that had crept on over months and months of poor choices. I have to stop myself from commenting when people say they are almost 100% on plan except for that case of doughnuts they ate. I get irritated when the first blogs of new members include questions about how to include regular drinking of alcohol, the "special" event cake/pie/meal/buffet/whatever dispensation, etc.

Why does anyone purchase Nutrisystem if they don't intend to follow it to the letter?.

NS is NOT the way you ate to get here. Nutrisystem is the way you SHOULD eat if you never want to be here again. If you are doing the Nutrisystem program, then you have realized that you need help. Maybe you are the person who prays for guidance...well, this IS the answer to those prayers. Maybe you are a person who has failed at other diets, but you are determined to succeed this time. Good.

Don't look for ways to go off plan...look for ways to include the plan into your life.

I think when we diet sometimes we are ashamed that we need Nutrisystem (or anything else) to achieve weight loss. Why? Would you be ashamed if you needed medication for an illness? A cast for a broken bone? Assistance for learning? A loan to buy a home or car? No. You wouldn't be ashamed to ask for help in any other situation, SO DO NOT BE ASHAMED OF USING Nutrisystem TO ACCOMPLISH YOUR GOAL.

Don't let others sabotage your efforts. Pack your Nutrisystem meals ahead of time. Prep vegetables and salads ahead of time so they are ready to grab. Cut protein servings and put them in baggies. Drink your water. Learn to say "no, thank you" and MEAN it.

Weather is not an excuse for idleness...and if you have a physical impediment there are oodles of "sit and be fit" types of exercise DVDs..

If you feel like you need help, reach out. There are great Nutrisystem counselors available to you. There is someone on the blogs or in a discussion group who has been where you are at some point. If you're having a great day - or a bad one - you can get love and support here. If you're making mistakes (and we all do) I guarantee you that you will be set straight. tough love is definitely present.

If you do, show your support. If you feel like a blog is directed at you (it probably isn't) then maybe you should think about why it hits home. I know I am often surprised by what speaks directly to me..

Here's the most important secret to success: BE YOUR OWN ALLY. Be the person you need to support you...the person who makes wise choices...the person who loves YOU unconditionally. Because the sooner you embrace your Nutrisystem journey the sooner you will be at goal..

Success to everyone...

Comments (58)

Your question was: Do you want to succeed with Nutrisystem? .

I have read of many newbies giving in or feeling frustrated. I love your post!.

We all have to realize exactly what you said - there will be good days, there will be horrible days, just dont quit - you have to learn how to eat better the REST OF YOUR LIFE, not only while on NS. I think our biggest mindtrap is thinking that eating properly is only until we lose the weight...

If things are going really bad, I take 1-2 days 'off' to re-think my plan and usually by then I am ready to get back in 100%, that is what pushes you throw the long haul...

Comment #1

I am waiting for my food to arrive now and I am glad I read this. It's something that everyone must know, but need to be reminded of. Thanks...

Comment #2

Very encouraging post and it just ensures me (a newbie of 2 weeks) that we all have those temptations, and we all CAN make the better choice!! Thanks and congrats on your successes as well...

Comment #3

When I was a newbie, I almost threw in the towel, and then I came to the message boards and read posts like yours. It's kept me going all this time. Great advice!..

Comment #4

Shannon - Thank you for your post. It should be required reading for all newbies along with Nutrisystem's Mindset Makeover...

Comment #5

Your post is just what I needed to read tonight. The timing was perfect. Thanks for the boost...

Comment #6

Thanks... This is just what I needed to read..

Comment #7

Thanks for the blog...I really needed encouragement and reading this gave me the kick in the behind that I needed!!!..

Comment #8

This is one of the best posts for inspiration.

That I've read short of a success story.

And really it is that too. I printed it out.

To keep. Thank you. When I started on.

My weight loss journey, at 5'3" 215.6 lbs..

I had probably about 80 lbs. at least to lose.

And I knew it would be tough. It has been.

But for me for a lot of other reasons, mainly.

Eye surgeries in between and other health.

Issues that frankly crushed my spirit..

But I haven't given up. I'm almost half way.

There and it's folks like yourself who.

Know how to word things and say it just.

The way I want to say it to help us keep going..

For myself, I want to do this, live it,.

And then work it into the rest of my life.

Where I can maintain yet still enjoy a glass.

Of wine, a party, a piece of cake without.

Gaining 80-90 lbs. Nutrisystem is a tool and like you.

Said, there's no shame in asking (paying).

For help!.

Thanks again for the post. It says.

Everything I wanted to!..

Comment #9

Thank you for this post. I would like to save it to read from time to time throughout my journey. I am a newbie (first day) and excited to make it all the way to my goal.

Thank you for your comment of support on my blog. I wish you continued success...

Comment #10

WOW! Is all I have to say. Just amazing. This is a definite must read for newbies. Thanks so much for all of your encouraging words and frankness. Can't wait for my food to arrive..

Comment #11

With all of the fresh vegetables and citrus fruits!! Lucky you!!..

Comment #12

Thank you, thank you and thank you!!.

As a newbie, I am so happy to read a post as yours. Thank you Shannon for your wonderful insight! It is greatly appreciated!..

Comment #13

One of the best posts I have ever read..great job!..

Comment #14

Add me to the NSers that think this is a great post! Kat D..

Comment #15

So encouraging to see your post. I just received my frozen foods tonight. This is an investment in myself that I don't plan to give up on. I have tried several other plans that I stuck to religiously, but just did not work. Hopefully this will be the plan that works for me! I am happy you posted that there will be some weeks with no weight loss. This will help me when I have those weeks to not give up! Thank you!..

Comment #16


I just want you to know that after reading your post last night, I sat myself down and made an eating plan for today. I wrote down everything I was going to eat so I didn't have big decisions to make in the morning. Today was my first 100% day in a very long time. I made some changes to what I planned to have (like making a cinnamon swirl bundt cake instead of an almond-flavored bundt cake for breakfast), but I had my roadmap to follow. It made the day so much easier..

I even pre-thought my snack and what I could eat if I was feeling hungry. It was a great tool and something I will continue doing..

Your words are very inspiring. Thanks once again for posting...

Comment #17

Shannon - if you haven't already, come back and take a bow...

Comment #18

Doesn't she deserve it, Howard? It makes me happy for her that she has rec'd this response. She practices what she preaches. How I admire that. And she's sweet and funny besides...

Comment #19

Quote: "If you do, show your support".

BRAVO!..............Well said...................I absolutely love this program....INVEST IN YOURSELF....IT IS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO WORTH IT...

Comment #20

Thanks for shariing! wonderfully motivating as I'm recommitting - this is the 1st time I've replied to something primarily just to bump it up!!!..

Comment #21

Wow. All of you are so nice! Thanks for reading my blog. I love what Nutrisystem is doing for all of us - and what we are doing for ourselves and each other..

Peace and joy ~ Shannon..

Comment #22

Oh, man! Just read through this.....GREAT JOB, SHANNON!!!!! You are awesome!! Nobody in the world could have said it better than that!..

Comment #23

This should be read by everyone who is on a diet no matter what program they are following. I suggest printing it out and reading it often. Thanks for sharing your feelings with us. Empowering !!!..

Comment #24

HunBo....what a wonderful way to put it. The words that I just read, that came from you, are the most encouraging I've read in quite a while. You are an inspiration, and thanks for sharing. It really hits home for me, and I will read it often. Very well put!!!!..

Comment #25

Just what I needed this morning. Thank you so much for posting this...

Comment #26

Thank you so much for writing this. I don't write much on the boards but I do read here and there. I have lost 4 lbs in the last 2 weeks and am stuck and feeling irritated to say the least. I had so much fun watching the "water weight" go away, now I am down to the hard stuff. I am at a point where losing weight has never been harder or more discouraging. I am sitting here wondering if I will be doing this program 2 or 3 weeks from now still sitting at the same weight...

There is nothing more painful for me, and this is just me, than being stuck. I am doing this program because I want freedom. I really need it to work.

I have not exercised this week to do hormonal fatigue, I am 41 and it is insane how my hormones wreak havoc, and I found out I have to have some semi-minor surgery... and tonight I am leaving for Houston for the weekend and even though I asked my husband to be supportive, we will be eating out the whole time... and that is not easy... I have not veered from Nutrisystem food since I started. So I am stressed, unsure of myself, and generally freaking. If I were an alcoholic, I would not go into a bar at this stage in my sobriety...

Folks, I am scared. I don't want this weekend trip to cause me to gain what I have lost, I have worked hard for it. -Noelle..

Comment #27

Hi Shannon I'm a fellow Californian and I just want to say thank you so much for posting your words of wisdom, we all need to hear that and understand that is all in our attitudes. I believe if you change your attitude you will change your world..

Thank you again. grace..

Comment #28

I am impressed with your story. I hope you can answer a few questions for me since you have been on the program for 27 weeks..

First here is a littel info about me. I lost 85 pounds lduring the past year just by starving myself and of course going through a divorse. I want to keep it off and I want to lose 15 to 20 more so I ordered the 6 week program to help me with these last 20 pounds. I have been fat my whole life and now at 50 I feel good and want to keep it that way. I also have had trouble the past 4 months or so craving things I love to eat so I am struggling to stay at this weight but now am serious about losing those last 20 pounds.

I got my box of food and meal planner and am starging Monday but I am confused about the meal planner. I had the daily schedule of eating but I don't understane (and I can't find where it talks about it) that says number of servings and below it has three columns that say under 40, 40-60 and over 60Is that something to do with my age (what is the point of that) for every food section listed like breakfast , dairy or protein, fruit, carbohydrate. I guess I am dumb but I don't understand that.

Also you talked about how you get upset about new people not taking in the required calories each day.....where does it tell you how many calories and isnt the nutrasystem program so you don't need to keep calorie counts. I am not being a smarty I do not want to not do something I am suppose to be doing if I need to keep calories I will. I have read that in order to lose weight you take your current weight and multiply by 7 and that is how many calories you should consume each day to lose weight. so If you weight 150 and multiply that by 7 you should not consumer more than 1050 a day. so I look at some of the calories listed on the nutrusystem packages and worry that I will consumer more than 1050 and not lose weight. It cost alot of money for me to do this program and would be very upset if I gain weight instead of losing weight..

Anyway those are my two questions and really appreciate your insite. You are a inspiration. Thank you, Pam..

Comment #29

Quark07 - I'm not certain if Shannon is monitoring this thread. If I were you, I'd call a counselor at 1-888-459-THIN between the hours of 7:00 AM - 12 Midnight ET Mon-Fri. If you can't wait until Monday, you might start a new thread here in General Support and I'm sure you'll get answers from many long time users.

I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how easy Nutrisystem is, once you get your questions answered. Good luck...

Comment #30

I am following this thread, Howard! I am answering people by private message. Thanks for checking! Shannon..

Comment #31

Maybe Nutrisystem could pay you for your own Carolyn Hax type column...

Comment #32

Thanks for the words of encouragement, Shannon! I, too, will print it and keep it handy. I have lost andregained weight three or four times and this time I need it to be permanent!!..

Comment #33

Awesome post. I love the encouragement we can get from our fellow NSers, but I also feel like some tough love is necessary sometimes. We all dream about losing weight, but it takes lots of DOING to actually get there!..

Comment #34

I am somenone trying to find my around on my first week..

Thank you for this post. It ahs inspried me.


Comment #35

Shannon - I hope you don't mind - time for a new group to get a chance to read this post...

Comment #36

Hi Shannon, I just wanted to say that although I am not a newbie (I have been a member on and off for three years) I am going back on with my next shipment and I needed to hear what you said. BACK TO BASICS.....I like what you said-you really hit on the spot-the secret to sticking with this plan and really seeing the scale move down..

I'm ready to get back into this!.

Take care, Michelle..

Comment #37


Thanks for your post. I'm sure it will be timely for as many years as it stays. I for one, have been on the program for 12 days without any weight loss. I am not about to quit. It's going to take my body more than a little resistance if it wants to discourage me. I feel like I'm on one side and my bod is on the other.

Somehow that approach helps me. It's like a tough football game that I'm not about to lose...

Comment #38

Great post. This fellow's page has similar sentiments:..

Comment #39

It's my fourth day on the program, and today I'm finding my way around on the message boards and reading this post is giving me extra encouragement! Thanks for posting this, I printed it and plan on reading it when I need the added inspiration!..

Comment #40

I am so glad I read you blog today.I'm one of the people you were talking about not because of the food. But because of the water. I don't drink the 8 glasses of water I'm suppose to so my body holds on to to it stopping me from loseing weight. So when I saw your blog today I said 12 GLASS! that's when I picked up a 20oz bottle of water and drink it right down. Now I can't stop going.THINK YOU...

Comment #41

Love your post and sometimes we just need a little tough love to hit us between our eyes to see what we are doing to our selfs,to keep us on the staight and narrow and make the better choices. thanks Elane..

Comment #42

This is a very good post - thanks for sharing...

Comment #43

Wow what a great blog! Thank you for this posting! I'm a newbie, waiting for my food to get're post is such an inspiration. Thanks and congrats on your weight loss..

Comment #44

This is a great post and I thought it needed to be bumped!..

Comment #45

Wow! You are all so nice! Thank you for keeping this post going - I am so glad I could help. You should all know that I still need these reminders...daily!.


Comment #46

Thanks for sharing. I am a newbie waiting for my food. It is encouraging to hear that the plan works if you work it. Thanks again!!..

Comment #47

I'm so glad to read this post. It's just the motivation to keep me plugging along. Thank you..

Comment #48

Thanks, Shannon, for slapping me upside the head!.

I need to monitor my "frees" more carefully!..

Comment #49

Thanks Shannon! This was an "eye opener"! This really hit homeI needed that good "shot in the arm"! As you can see, I've got a long journey to go. But I am determined to get there this time. You're words were a "God send" to many of us! Thanks so much for the encouragement and motivation to stick to plan!.

My favorite words you wrote were: "BE your own ally. Be the person you need to support you. The person who makes wise choices...the person who loves you unconditionally. Because the sooner you embrace you Nutrisystem journey the sooner you'll be at goal"!..

Comment #50

This is the best. This should be sent out with every order. I love it. Thank you..

Comment #51

I want to print this and put it on the fridge and the bathroom mirror, all over the house. If we feel like eating something we shouldn't then we can read this first...

Comment #52

I came to the boards this afternoon looking for motivation. This is exactly what I needed to get me back on track. I tend to get started at a great pace and then hit that first bump in the road where my mind wants to give every excuse not to exercise and eat on plan. I printed your blog and will continue to read it until I get my mind right...

Comment #53

Wow, what a great letter.

I pack my snack and dinner every day. Even when my mom was in the hospital I would pack my lunch, snack and dinner. The two times I went to a restaurant I would have a little piece of paper telling me what I could eat and had my bar as dessert.

My favorite paragraph-below because its so true..

Here's the most important secret to success: BE YOUR OWN ALLY. Be the person you need to support you...the person who makes wise choices...the person who loves YOU unconditionally. Because the sooner you embrace your Nutrisystem journey the sooner you will be at goal..

I so totally connected with your letter..



Comment #54

It will be two weeks for me tomorrow and I am down almost 4 lbs and love the program. Although 4 lbs does not seem like a lot, I am able to get into some clothes that had somehow skrunk (smile)...

Comment #55

This is a great post. I am so glad that I stumbled by!!!!..

Comment #56

Thank You, that says it all, and I totally agree..

Comment #57

This comment just stopped me from even considering having a drink that I was considering when I just started Nutrisystem less than a week ago. I have been doing very well otherwise, but I'm used to enjoying an alcoholic beverage over my weekends. I am now chastised, and thank you for the tough love...

Comment #58

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