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By Sheila on Feb 07, 2011 10:00 AM in Success Stories

Losing weight can be a tough feat and even tougher if you’re battling depression. That’s when Deirdra985 took matters into her own hands by prescribing herself an exercise plan. She has gone from a size 22 to a size 10 after losing 75lbs.

She contacted us through our Share Your Story feature, and provided the following answers to our questionnaire.

1. What made you decide to lose weight this time?

I was really depressed for a couple of weeks with no end in sight. I'd heard that exercising released endorphins, so I ran out to the gym and joined. I began taking classes 5 days per week for about a month. I moved across country and when I got here I realized that my clothes were all very loose. I thought to myself, "Wow, I bet if I start watching what I eat I can lose even more weight" and so I did. I continued working out 5-6 days per week and eating very healthy. So far I have lost 75 pounds (although 3 have come back because I was away from the gym for a week and a half) and I keep pushing on. It's very difficult for me because I hate exercise and I love food. While it's coming off much slower now, I have gone from a 22 to a 10 and I'm thrilled with the results!

2. What other "diets" (programs, products, plans, or services) had you tried in the past?

None. I was always very comfortable in my own skin. I was raised with the notion that it's what's on the inside that counts and I have always looked at myself, as well as others, that way.

3. What changes did you make to your usual diet, activity, lifestyle, and attitude?

I went from no exercise what so ever to doing 4 miles a day on the elliptical at a high incline and a high resistance. I upped my game by doing some weight training every other day and that seemed to help when I had "plateaued". As for food, I changed just about everything. All of the foods that I love are now special treats and I have them every so often. I don't deprive myself of anything entirely; I just save them for when I'm wanting them most or a special occasion.

4. How did Calorie Count help you to lose weight?

I really only ever read the newsletters but I have signed on to track exercise and food intake and I have high hopes that it will help me lose faster than I have been as of late.

5. What was most challenging about losing weight?

Getting up at 4am every day to go to the gym is definitely the worst part.

6. How long did it take you to see results?

One month before I realized that my self-prescription for depression was also making me shrink.

7. When did you realize that you were a success?

When I reached a size 10 from a 22.

8. How do you prevent relapse?

I make myself go to the gym each day because I'm of the mindset that if I skip just one day (other than Sunday) I will think it's "OK" to skip other days. At which point I can see myself slacking and subsequently telling myself it's OK to eat junk all the time, too. So, I guess, I just nip it in the bud.

9. How has your life changed now that you've lost weight?

Sadly, I'm more accepted by and welcomed from people (strangers). It makes me so sad to see just how shallow we are as a race. I'm the same person I was before, only thinner and healthier.

10. What five tips do you have for other dieters?

  • Exercise almost daily. I mean sweat, not just a walk around the neighborhood.
  • Cut out whites.  Whole grain breads, pastas, crackers, etc.  It's OK to eat carbs, just make sure they're in the form of grains/wheats.
  • Portion control.
  • Never deprive yourself of anything entirely.  You're sure to fall off the wagon that way.
  • Have a "goal treat".  When I reach my goal, you can be sure I'm going to sit down with a Reece's Peanut Butter Cup and bask in all of its glory!

 

If you would like us to feature your success story, you can submit it here. The most insightful stories will be featured on this blog and in the weekly "Success Stories" newsletter.



Comments


This is amazing.
The fact she's also noted the negative points of losing weight, makes this the most honest success story I have ever read.
Thank you and congratulations for your story.
I'm going to work even harder now.



I have noticed that as well for me. I use to be very fit but now that I have hit college I gained a good 50 pounds. There are many people that treat you like dirt but i've learned to accept my body. People are very shallow sometimes. Congratulations on your success and keep up the good work love! 

Nika x x



Wow!!! Deirdra985, congratulations!! Not only for losing weight but doing it in such a positive way!



reminds me of myself a little bit but I only lost 30, not 75.I used to run 4 miles a day and do a tae bo video everyday, also DONT  STOP!!!

 

I stopped at the end of the school year since I had finals and needed to study and BAM! gained it all back plus some.

 

its really a bummer. just thinking about trying to do it again overwhelms me.



Thank you for your story.  This is just what I needed this morning.  I also have lost a big amount of weight, and I hit my ultimate low weight last week.  Having said that, I had a horrible week after that low weight.  I spent the whole week eating things I should not have had, and since then, I have gained four pounds.  Feeling down and upset with myself, I have promised myself to do better this week.  This story is the inspiration I needed.  Thank you!  Good luck with your lifestyle change!



Good for her but she was much better looking before in my opinion. Size 22 or not!



you look great!  keep up the good work Smile



Great and inspiring story. I would love to join a gym too but the costs always put me off. Wonder if there are any other ways of doing resistance workouts on the cheap. 



You can find many free workouts on the internet.  Sometimes I download or save videos from youtube.  Just google what you want.  Also, Jillian Michaels has circuit training workouts on her website, although you have to pay a monthly fee for her site.  There are also free workouts on here under Exercise-  Workout Center.  



Original Post by: wesmckean

you look great!  keep up the good work Smile


I also thought she was quite beautiful before, but she's also beautiful now, and I bet with all this new found Happiness, she's even MORE beautiful! Congratulations on your weight loss Deirdra! You were exactly where I am today, hoping to be close to where you are someday! Actuallly I've been a size 12/13 before as I was extremely active before I started driving truck lol And I was more than happy there! I'm hoping to turn my 22 into a 12!! With great stories like yours, It helps soooo much!

Thank you so much, and I hope you're very happy with your new body!

Denise :)Laughing



thanks will do that. 



good for you!  I also went from a 22/24 to a size 8/10.  Been on maintenance about 2 1/2 years now.  Some days its really tough but I do give myself one off day per week or so and that helps.  I keep a food diary and weigh myself every day.  I know a lot of sites tell you not to but that is what works for me.

I had lost a significant amount of weight twice before and the mistake I made was not logging my food intake and not weighing myself.

again, congratulations!

 



Great story, very genuine. The part about being a smaller version of yourself really hit home. Like anyone else, I enjoy compliments about my appearance when I'm feeling particularly svelte but it always makes me wonder, with sadness, how bad I looked "before" and if I gain weight, will I look terrible in that person's eyes?

My new approach when I see someone who has lost weight or positively changed his/her appearance to say: "You look really happy/peaceful/relaxed (whatever seems appropriate)" instead of commenting on his/her physical size...



I think this is great.
To be depressed and still find it in yourself to start exercising is amazing!  When I'm depressed, I find it very difficult to have the mental or physical energy to exercise.
Good for her!
(Although.... size 22 to size 10 is actually 6 sizes smaller, not 12). 

Good job Deirdra985!   Keep going and you'll keep the depression away and your health will be excellent!

 



I wanted to add that her "before" photo is actually great.  She is really pretty regardless of her weight.



when my son was born i suffered from post-partum depression. I started taking him for long walks in his stroller and realized that not only was it good for him, but it sure was boosting my mood! I power-walked for 20 yrs, then moved to the desert where it's too hot to breath, never mind exercise, so much so that i ended doing hardly anything for almost 7 yrs! Around 2003 i installed a great home gym with a top quality treadmill and proceeded to ignore it for a 3 years. Two years ago i noticed the depression coming back, and i desparately wanted to quit smoking, so, i got on that treadmill in Jan of 2008 and now log in about 10 15 miles of running a week, in addition power walking, using my weight system, stepper, stayball and any other exercise i feel like incoprorating that week.  And i've never felt better mentally or physically!



I've also noticed people treating me differently since I've  been losing weight.  There are 2 types of people: those who are thrilled for me and those who are irritated with me.  I work with a woman who is a fitness freak, and she has  become very chatty with me over the past several weeks, always complimenting me on my appearance and encouraging me to work out and tone up.  Interestingly, my other co-workers are teasing me and giving me grief over becoming this woman's favored associate.  I am not on this program to become popular or to show anyone else up, and I find it strange that peoples' reactions can be so radically opposed.  I am also a little uncomfortable with the scrutiny under which I find myself.



I know gyms can be expensive but try looking for a local rec centre where they offer all kinds of exercise..swimming ..classes in the gym for one price...



Congratulations - you are an inspiration. 



ya ya... i agree with the other person. she looked more attractive before the eight loss. her face looked more healthy and full of colour. but congrats either way.



portion control!  yes!  Awesome job!  What a size difference!  Way to go!

Just got back from the doc and still no need for meds after my weight loss!  Its so exciting!  125 pounds gone!  See my profile for a link to my blog!

Chris



Such a great story.  It motivated me to go ahead and get into a gym which I have been thinking about for a couple of months.  I haven't done it because of self doubt however, since this lady could do it and she had more to lose, I believe I will be able to do the same and be the better for it.  Tks!



Come on guys....aren't we suppose to be supporting each other?  Would you want someone to say your face looked better before you did the work which led to your weight loss goal?  She posted her pictures and her success story so we would congratulate her and be motivated to keep trying, not so we could scrutinize and criticize.  That kind of negativity is by no means helpful on this site.  That's not what it's about anyway, although she still looks gorgeous in the face and now has the body to match.  Nobody wants to hear "you looked better fat" no matter how innocent you try to make it sound.  You don't know her, but it still sounds like jealousy.  If you can't be positive, do the right thing and do not post a comment.  Besides all that, the lighting was different on the pictures.

Deirdra985, I think you are a lovely young lady and you have proven that you are confident and strong.  You are taking charge of your health and your body at a young age.  You are truly an inspiration to others!  May God bless you!  

 



It's exciting to see someone try the gym for depression, instead of medicating first. Awesome.  While it is true that our society has quite a stigma about how we treat overweight people, I'm guessing that Deirdre is also happier, more outgoing and thus more ATTRACT-ive  -- drawing people toward her because of the new confidence and vitality.  Either way, very inspiring.



That is so very awesome! I have just started my diet yesterday and I really hope that it will pay off. I want to be able to stay on it but my husband is making it very hard. He always wants to go out to eat and orders junk. I am trying to keep my willpower and stay focused. I wish that I could join a gym but they are very expensive and its hard to find the time to go with 4 kids. Maybe if I do get up extra early and go then that will help.

I love the inspiration in your story. I want to be able to say that I lost a significant amount of weight. My breaking point was when we went to Knotts Berry Farm and a lot of the rides that I wanted to go on with the kids I couldn't fit on. That was so very embarrassing. I want to be able to ride the rides again and have a blast.

You look awesome and I congratulate all of your hard work and I hope that you keep it off and enjoy your new happy and healthy life.



I rarely comment on other people's success stories but there are several things I really appreciate about yours compared to some others that I have read.

First, you did not complain about 'my awful before picture'. Your before photo is beautiful and you own it! Good going. I find it sad when I see some beautiful young women complain about their before picture when they are really quite attractive. I am strong proponent of weight loss for health but not necessarily for appearance. I am primarily here for my health.

I also really appreciated your comments on how people treat you differently. I  noticed this the first time I lost a significant amount of weight. (Gained some back since which is why I joined up). I remember commenting on this to a permanently slender colleague and she did not believe me. But it is absolutely true. Some people respond to this by saying that 'people are responding to your increased inner confidence'. This is bull. People respond differently to overweight people than they do to thinner ones. I always find it fascinating. A few pounds do not change the essence of who you are.

 

 



Original Post by: hardworkingmom_2009

That is so very awesome! I have just started my diet yesterday and I really hope that it will pay off. I want to be able to stay on it but my husband is making it very hard. He always wants to go out to eat and orders junk. I am trying to keep my willpower and stay focused. I wish that I could join a gym but they are very expensive and its hard to find the time to go with 4 kids. Maybe if I do get up extra early and go then that will help.

I love the inspiration in your story. I want to be able to say that I lost a significant amount of weight. My breaking point was when we went to Knotts Berry Farm and a lot of the rides that I wanted to go on with the kids I couldn't fit on. That was so very embarrassing. I want to be able to ride the rides again and have a blast.

You look awesome and I congratulate all of your hard work and I hope that you keep it off and enjoy your new happy and healthy life.


My husband is an evening snacker and loves to get fast food.  When I started my program of calorie counting, I didn't think it would be fair of me to make him change his eating habits, so I adjusted accordingly.  If he wanted burgers, I got the small one without cheese and tossed half the bun.  When he bought snacks, I asked for popcorn instead of chips.  While he drank soda, I drank water.  When he saw how well I was doing, he became very supportive of my efforts and started making better choices for our meals and snacks (he does the cooking, Ladies...) After I lost about 25 pounds and he realized I wasn't starving myself to do it, he became motivated to start watching his calorie intake as well, and he has begun to lose some of the extra weight he's been carrying.  I didn't join a gym (too expensive) but I did invest in a kettlebell and I work out with it as often as I can.  I also walk whenever possible.  I am now down 36 pounds since August and I am still losing slowly, just the way I gained it.  Don't wait for anyone else to get behind you: get behind yourself and go, go, go!  Your husband will see your progress and jump on the bandwagon soon enough!  Good luck...



It's so good to hear that someone didn't just want to lose weight, but to generally improve her quality of life.  That broader vision makes losing the weight easier in my opinion.  I started with 30 to lose and have lost 12 so far....not a lot to some people, but being so close to a healthy weight apparently means it comes off more slowly....and it IS a slow process.  BUT it's about living well, feeling great and that's what I keep my focus on.....how GOOD a healthy body is going to feel!

By the way....as much as I love you all at Calorie Count....going from size 22 to 10 is a 6 size change NOT 12......sizes run 22, 20, 18, 16, 14, 12, 10.....not 22, 21, 20, 19 etc.  We all gotta keep it real!!  



I have a size 19 at home.. also a size 13... so maybe it's different everywhere :) I've seen this other sizes in the stores as well :)



Hi Krinisty., You are right....they are out there, every where.  Even sizes are "ladies", usually clothing cut for a "woman's" figure and odd sizes are "miss" cut for a younger figure.  You are right in that the "misses" run with odd numbers....19,17,15, 13, 11, 9,7, etc.....but "ladies" run even 14, 12, 10, 8, etc.  not higher than 14.   I found clothing MUCH more comfortable when I gave up on the "misses" (odd numbers) which, again, are cut for the figure of a younger woman and got honest with myself and went to clothing cut for my age!  The proportion of the waist to the hip to the thigh in clothing with even numbers is more realistic for me!  

To add to the confusion "women's" clothing, is cut for a larger figure and runs with even numbers starting with 12, then 14, 16, 18, 20, 22 and on.  These are also cut for a heavier figure and as such a 12 or 14 in womens is probably more comfortable than a 12 or 14 in ladies if you have a heavier BMI....meaning you're not "largish" because you're an athlete, body builder....but because you are heavier for the reasons most of us are.   

I worked for years for a clothing company that carries both "ladies" and "womens" and a great deal of effort goes into shifting the design so that the same clothing is cut for the variations in figure structure.  It was only when I started there I realized that I was cheating my own comfort and appearance wearing "misses"....the odd numbered clothes!



That's all awesome information!! I never knew that at all! Thanks for the great reply!



I was just telling my husband the other day what a disservice the clothing industry is doing to us by adjusting the clothes sizes.  I wear a size 8 by today's standards, but I have some vintage clothing in a 14 that i can barely breathe in.  I wish more women's clothing came in waist sizes like the men's.  Then there would be none of this fooling ourselves.



Congratulations on your sucess and thank you for being honest and sharing the negative side to weight loss, i too have experience the change in people's attitude since i lost weight and it really does bother me i think i've thrown the word shallow around more than i can count this year. :)

 

 



"Sadly, I'm more accepted by and welcomed from people (strangers). It makes me so sad to see just how shallow we are as a race. I'm the same person I was before, only thinner and healthier." - Quote

It's true you're the same person, but the truth is that being overweight is unhealthy and stresses joints and leads to many other problems.

I don't necessarily believe that people are "shallow" because they find you more attractive now than when you weighed 75 lbs. more. The truth is that you look much healthier and fit now, and I'll bet everything you do is easier now that you're much lighter.

Many people that are overweight are very self conscious of their appearance, and it actually contributes to low self esteem and even depression. When you are at a healthy and normal weight, it makes a statement that you have self-control. So, when people are more accepting and welcoming, that in itself is a REWARD for your efforts at shedding those unneeded pounds.

So, instead of looking at people as "shallow" who respond positively to your "healthier and thinner" look, just consider it part of your reward for all your hard work. It's true you may be the same person on the inside, but what we are on the outside is a reflection of what we are on the inside. You're outward appearance is a declaration or whether or not you have self-control, and that you care about how you look, and whether you are at a healthy weight for you height and bone structure.

Congratulations on losing 75 lbs. You will NEVER regret it!

 

 

 

 



Hmmmm...but shallow they remain.  No? 



Thats so true tomfran, not having self control makes people suspicious of you



@ tomfran7 point well made :) i am going to try a little harder to see it the other way around.



It isn't being "shallow" to be more attracted to someone who is attractive because of a normal weight/size ration. I believe it's rather normal.

Whether we like it or not, we will find it an asset in this world to be at a healthy weight. People will have more respect for us if we are not overweight. You will still be the same lovely person inside, but people don't always get to "see" that part of you. They first see the outward appearance, and if that is suggestive of you're being lacking in self-discipline, it could have a negative impact on those you interact with.

Being overweight or even obese makes a "huge" statement to others (no pun intended...)Cool. Why not make a good statement by maintaining a healthy outward appearance?

 



A great point, I find being considered very attractive because of my appearance has actually helped me out quite alot in my life so far, i.e. career, especially so considering that I am a salesperson. I joined this website to maintain my outwardly healthy appearance for a reason



We are often drawn to, or at least more comfortable with "that which we admire" or wish to be like.  Being heavy is an expression of "something's not OK" (emotionally or at least regarding one's physical health) to many people...it isn't always intentional.  OK, maybe it can be called shallow....but more and more the message the culture is sending via media is "this is bad, this is trouble"...the instinct is to shy away.



@jarnett1  what u say speaks volumes of truth and i think as long as the world feels this way i will always be on the outside with my nose press against the glass.



@keishamp723....very touching way to say it, but you must always remember that there ARE many many people who relate....or understand....but surely do love you!  Be good to yourself....that goodness will shine through that glass.



Great job, well done & from a males perspective I think you look gorgeous in both photos.

I did something similar 4 years ago, losing aroud 50 lbs after being very depressed & I also noticed people's attitudes towards me changed. It took me awhile but I eventually realised that I was a different person. I had been diagnosed with depression & I no longer had it, so I'm not the same me, I've made some inner changes that are probably being expressed in some way, even if I don't recognise it. I don't think it had anything to do with others being shallow, it was about me being a nicer person to be around.



Wow.....thank you all so much for the sweet comments and messages (which brought tears to my eyes, I might add).  This community is amazing.  :) 

I don't want to debate about "shallow", but I promise, for ME, I will never teach my children that it's OK to treat fat/skinny people any differently, just like I'd never teach them it's OK to treat black/white people any differently.  Call it what you will; to me it's just shameful.



I find it shallow that people equate self-control with weight.  I work at a college cafeteria in California where most of the students look svelte or athletic, but eat the worst possible food in bulk.  Mac n Cheese, hamburgers, pizza, fries, you name it.  The salads are mostly croutons, bacon bits, corn and ranch.  I'm overweight, and have been for as long as I can remember, but I'll be damned if I ever ate as much junk food as these kids can eat.  Some of them are athletes, and some of them work out, but from listening to the things they say they are mostly slim because they are young, never had a weight problem, so they never had to worry about what they eat.  They will have to worry later, but for now, I'm the girl who's been told by a random stranger in my college town to lose some weight, and I'm the one who fitting room attendants assume can't fit into all the clothes I put back (that's right, I didn't pick those pants because they were ugly, but because I was too fat to wear them, right?).  I don't walk around being resentful because I'm fat (I know I'm fat because of my poor choices, it's nobody's fault but mine) and I don't whine about being fat to gain sympathy, and I have lots of confidence in myself.  So the rudeness of random strangers toward me because of my size is purely shallow, and a mystery to me.  

In short, being fat could be indicative of an unhealthy lifestyle, but being thin is certainly not indicative of a healthy lifestyle, particularly among young people.  So to assume these things and apply them to how you treat people is certainly shallow.

Congrats on your weight loss deirdra, sorry I had to get that off my chest.  I'm glad you brought up this important point and that you were raised to evaluate others based on their personality rather than on their outer appearances.



Well put, rhcpgirl23.  Whenever we judge people on appearance alone, we are really cheating ourselves.  Imagine how many wonderful people are never given a chance to be discovered because we have a preconceived idea that they are somehow less than adequate!



8. How do you prevent relapse?

I make myself go to the gym each day because I'm of the mindset that if I skip just one day (other than Sunday) I will think it's "OK" to skip other days. At which point I can see myself slacking and subsequently telling myself it's OK to eat junk all the time, too. So, I guess, I just nip it in the bud.

I'm the same way- if I skip one day, I'm bound to skip another, I have no moderation, it's all or nothing with me, both with junk food and exercise, so it's none of one and all of the other for me!

9. How has your life changed now that you've lost weight?

Sadly, I'm more accepted by and welcomed from people (strangers). It makes me so sad to see just how shallow we are as a race. I'm the same person I was before, only thinner and healthier.

This happens to me, too.  People hold the door for me now, I have sales reps offer to help me all the time at the store when it used to be like walking through the world with an invisibility cloak on.  It is pretty sad :/



@rhcpgirl23 :)  @ hobbs i totally agree.



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