Being Active Makes Me Happy
For a woman who was so reluctant to lose weight and exercise was always an afterthought, Tamleah has succeeded admirably. Incorporating small changes in her meals, counting calories and finding an exercise she loved was the key to losing 100lbs.
She contacted us through our Share Your Story feature, and provided the following answers to our questionnaire.
1. What prompted you to begin this weight loss journey? Did you have an "Aha!" moment?
Mine happened sort of by accident. I met someone new and suddenly noticed that I had lost a few pounds probably because I was distracted. I figured if I could lose a few - maybe I really could lose more with a bit of effort.
2. What other "diets" (programs, products, plans, or services) had you tried in the past?
I had previously just been resistant to the idea of losing weight. I gained most of my weight after my child was born 24 years ago and had just resigned myself to always being big. I did manage to lose 40 pounds about 10 years ago - but gained that back plus some. I also always believed that I hated exercise.
3. Please describe how you reached your weight loss goal. What changes did you make to your usual diet, activity, lifestyle, and attitude? Did you implement any other strategies besides Calorie Count? What was the most important change?
I opted for a healthy lifestyle change. I started using Calorie Count to keep track of
my calories - and started exercising at Curves. Within a few months I discovered Zumba and that was a huge key for me - because I LOVE IT! I'm addicted.
4. Please describe how Calorie Count was instrumental to your weight loss.
Calorie Count was an essential component for me. I am a nurse and so felt I was
pretty aware of food values - but with Calorie Count all the guess work was removed and I had to be more honest about my intake. I figured out what I could eat and small changes I could make to increase my weight loss. I love food so that was very important as I plan to do this for the rest of my life.
5. What difficulties did you experience losing weight?
I really didn't have any problems - once I got started and began to have some
success it just seemed to get easier and easier. I was so surprised at how just small changes seemed to make big differences and this all happened after I was in menopause too.
6. How long did it take you to see results? When did you realize that you were a success?
I started to see results very quickly - and was so excited as I was able to drop clothing sizes. My staff at work bought me a gift certificate to Penney's to celebrate my success which was so inspiring. I think I really just realized that I am a success - I've been maintaining my weight loss for several months now and in recent weeks I broke my foot so can't Zumba - but I immediately picked up swimming to compensate and I haven't gained an ounce!
7. How do you prevent relapse?
I don't have any forbidden foods - I just limit some of those that I know will pack on the pounds... I love fried chicken - I used to eat it all the time - now it's a special treat and if I do indulge I just eat light the next few days. I eat a little bit of chocolate every day - I just watch the portions. I also make sure I don't get hungry - I stock up on fruits and veggies for snacking.
8. How has your life changed now that you've lost weight?
I feel so much better! I can walk for hours and my feet don't hurt, I enjoy shopping for clothes now - and I'm dating again for the first time in 10 years. I love a physical challenge now - there are certain trails in my town that have huge hills - I seek them out - I used to avoid them at all costs.
9. How long have you maintained your current weight?
I've been at my current weight for about 4 months now. I'd still like to lose a few more pounds - but I'm happy where I am and just concentrating on staying healthy.
10. What five tips do you have for other dieters?
- Remember it's a lifestyle change - you're going to need to find foods that you like because you'll be eating them for the rest of your life.
- Make small changes - I used to have 3 tsps of sugar in my coffee - now I use 2 Splenda and one sugar.
- Find an exercise that you enjoy so you can look forward to it.
- Drink lots of water - and pretty much nothing but water.
- Reward yourself in some way - but not with food.
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.