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Calorie Count Blog

Drop the Diets, And Change Your Lifestyle


By +Rachel Berman on Aug 19, 2013 10:00 AM in Success Stories

After a trip to the hospital, and a final warning from her doctor, Danielle committed herself to a healthier lifestyle. She knew she needed a plan that she could maintain, so before making changes to her diet or exercise, she asked herself, “Can I eat/do this for the rest of my life?” Now, at over 80 lbs. lost, and almost to her goal weight, Danielle is happier and healthier than ever. 

Danielle, aka, dashford1, 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?

In December of 2011, I ended up in the hospital for 3 days due to cardiac issues. My cardiologist came into my room, looked at my chart, then looked me in the eye and said, "Well I have told you to lose weight three times now." I never thought he was serious about me losing weight. I just thought it was something they tell any patient that is even a little overweight. Turns out I was wrong...almost dead wrong! It took blacking out in my kitchen and a nice long stay at the hospital for it to finally sink in. I started my journey that moment.

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

Weight Watchers online, Atkins, many different types of "appetite suppressant" pills, grapefruit diet, fasting, the juice diet, fat-free diet, and I almost went through with a surgical-banding procedure.

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 lost weight on my own the first few months. I had such horrible eating habits and my body was starving for nutrition. So, in the beginning, I did not put a limit on vegetables or fruits. I eliminated fried foods, sodas (both regular and diet), and under doctor’s orders, caffeine is now permanently off my menu. I also began walking every other day. And I counted calories in a notebook. The most important thing for me was before any change to my diet or adding any new exercise, I ask myself "Can I eat/do this for the rest of my life?"

Rock climbing may burn an enormous amount of calories, but if you don’t enjoy it then it’s only temporary. If I can’t do without a certain food, then I try to find a low calorie substitute for it, or I have it but I try to cut back on the amount of that food.

When I wanted to track my calories in a more organized way, I found Calorie Count online.

4. Please describe how Calorie Count was instrumental to your weight loss.

Calorie Count has been absolutely instrumental in my weight loss! Counting my calories keeps me aware of what, and how much, is going in my mouth! I love the support I receive from my fellow CC'ers. The charts and tools that Calorie Count offers have been vital in my weight loss.

5. What difficulties did you experience losing weight?

Some people "sabotaging" me, i.e., "Let’s go out to eat," and "Here is your favorite pie, I made it just for you!" "Come have a drink with me after work." I have even had people tell me that "You look better heavier." and, "I think you should stop losing weight, you look good right now." I have had to be more considerate of my spouse and friends because they seem to be afraid that my weight loss is going to change our relationship somehow. They are right to an extent; I will no longer be the "fat one" in the dynamic.

6. How long did it take you to see results? When did you realize that you were a success?

The first change I noticed was after about 3 months of dieting, I suddenly got my balance back. I could now stand to put on my pants, before I would have to sit down and put my pants on, or I would have to lean on my dresser to not fall over. Other people started noticing my weight loss after losing about 40 pounds. I really didn't feel much different at that time. I have 10 pounds to lose before reaching my goal weight, after I do that I have the challenge of maintaining. If I can maintain my weight loss then I will consider myself a success!

7. How do you prevent relapse?

Occasionally, I have an out-of-control eating day. To keep these kinds of days at a minimum, I make sure that I eat on schedule, I do not skip meals. I keep snacks in my purse in case I get caught away from home at meal time. I stay hydrated because sometimes I will think I am hungry when it’s only thirst. I don't let myself get bored, because boredom is the number one reason that kicks off an eating binge.

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

I have more energy! My husband says things like "I've got my old girl back," and, "You look so much younger." I can shop in just about any clothing store now. I can wear a size 8 now. I feel prettier, and I no longer have to take blood pressure medication. I don't have as many heart palpitations; I can walk around without losing my breath. My thighs don't rub together when I walk. My saggy, droopy belly is gone.

My husband, sister, and mother have all been inspired to lose weight too! I am a much happier and healthier person!

9. How long have you maintained your current weight?

Approximately six months at my current weight, but still losing!

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

1. Count your calories.

2. Don't eat in the three hours before you go to sleep.

3. Drink your 8 glasses of water! (One full glass before each meal.)

4. Watching TV can be your downfall. Set a particular amount of time you want to watch before turning the television on, and when that time is up....SHUT IT OFF!

5. Get a full night’s sleep! Do not cut yourself short on this.

If you would like us to feature your success story, you can submit it here, or Tweet at Us, or let us know about your progress on Facebook. The most insightful stories will be featured on this blog and in the weekly "Success Stories" newsletter.

 



Comments


Now let me see... you count calories, eat on a schedule, eliminate certain foods, etc., and call it a "lifestyle." I've got news for you - This is a diet! So often when we say  "diet" it means "fad diet" that's only temporary, but a good diet is a lifestyle change. 

 

If I can't eat whatever I want, as much as I like, and whenever I like, it's a diet. I'm on one now, but I plan to make it a permanent lifestyle change. 60 pounds down, 80 to go. I'm 67. This is so I can walk and actually live my life.



Wow, for a minute there I thought I was reading my life! I traveled the same path you had to get to this point in my life where I want to make life style changes.  I don't even called it a diet because that word for me means temporary fix.  My aha moment was my doctor too. Although diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol run in my family, I had luckily avoided having those conditions even at my high weight.  But when my doctor said if I didn't lose weight that it is 100% guaranteed that I will get those disease, that caught my attention!!Lol  In reading your letter I found some great tips on how to make real life style changes. So thank you so much for sharing!



Good for you!  You look great and super happy!  I hope your doctor has given you props for all you've accomplished.  Thanks for sharing your journey.



Brilliant! You look incredible and such an inspiration. Love your story, thank you for sharing.



Congratulations! You look amazing and your story is inspiring



Congratulations Danielle. You look amazing!



You absolutely look amazing Danielle!  I think you should consider yourself a success already.  Your success started when you had your "a-ha" moment and gradually increased to where you are now.  Keep it up girl and don't say "if" you can maintain your weight loss, say "WHEN" you maintain your weight loss!  You can do it!



Thank you so much for your kind words.Smile



Original Post by: musictc

You absolutely look amazing Danielle!  I think you should consider yourself a success already.  Your success started when you had your "a-ha" moment and gradually increased to where you are now.  Keep it up girl and don't say "if" you can maintain your weight loss, say "WHEN" you maintain your weight loss!  You can do it!


Thank you, I like your positive attitude!



Original Post by: ena1972

Good for you!  You look great and super happy!  I hope your doctor has given you props for all you've accomplished.  Thanks for sharing your journey.


Thanks, I am much happier now, My doctor has definitely noticed the improvement. I have found it interesting that my blood tests will tell on me... If I slack up on my exercise my bad cholesterol will rise even if my weight has stayed the same. So my Doctor will say you haven't been doing your cardio have you?. I can not get away with anything! LOL!



Original Post by: cisanchez

Wow, for a minute there I thought I was reading my life! I traveled the same path you had to get to this point in my life where I want to make life style changes.  I don't even called it a diet because that word for me means temporary fix.  My aha moment was my doctor too. Although diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol run in my family, I had luckily avoided having those conditions even at my high weight.  But when my doctor said if I didn't lose weight that it is 100% guaranteed that I will get those disease, that caught my attention!!Lol  In reading your letter I found some great tips on how to make real life style changes. So thank you so much for sharing!


I know what you mean about calling it a diet, it kind of has negative implications for me because I had tried and failed on so many fad diets. I am fortunate that diabetes does not run in my family (just bad tickers!). That is one horrible thing to have. I am happy that you are aware that you don't have to walk that same pathSmile



Original Post by: ruiner38

Congratulations! You look amazing and your story is inspiring


Thank you so much! I have really been trying hard.



Original Post by: ellektra

Brilliant! You look incredible and such an inspiration. Love your story, thank you for sharing.


Thank you so much! Its been a long row to hoe but its been worth it!



Original Post by: shoeofkuribo

Congratulations Danielle. You look amazing!


Thank you! I read your profile and I liked it where you say " your strategy is moderation". That's exactly what I am aiming for!Smile



Fabulous, you look fabulous! and your story validates my experience and gives me hope for my own success! I've lost 26.8 pounds, so I'm at the very beginning and seeing others' success is such an upper for me! It gives me hope that one day I'll post my own story. Thanks so much for sharing!



Wow!  CONGRATS! 

I am trying my best too to get to my first 100...at 75...and struggling a little. 

But I WONT GIVE UP!

You are an inspiration to me!

i am doing a GREAT work and I can't come down! (Nehemiah 6:3)



Very inspiring and yet all to familiar.  Over the past year, my doctor has been telling me to exercise daily.  I ignored her knowing my weight is the highest in my life (close to my pregnancy high weight).  During this past visit, she told me to loose weight - maybe try weight watchers....  I almost fell out of the chair - no one had ever told me this before!   So I finally took it seriously.  I dusted off my elipiticial machine and began walking 30 minutes daily.  I changed my eating habits to reduce portion and calories.  I have lost 15 pounds over the last 4 weeks.  I am actually looking forward to my next doctor visit!

Thanks again for sharing!  



Original Post by: bbanfill

Very inspiring and yet all to familiar.  Over the past year, my doctor has been telling me to exercise daily.  I ignored her knowing my weight is the highest in my life (close to my pregnancy high weight).  During this past visit, she told me to loose weight - maybe try weight watchers....  I almost fell out of the chair - no one had ever told me this before!   So I finally took it seriously.  I dusted off my elipiticial machine and began walking 30 minutes daily.  I changed my eating habits to reduce portion and calories.  I have lost 15 pounds over the last 4 weeks.  I am actually looking forward to my next doctor visit!

Thanks again for sharing!  


Wow 15 Lbs in four weeks! That is so impressive! I know you will do great! Wish I could be a fly on the wall when she see's your current weight!



Original Post by: lynn81

Fabulous, you look fabulous! and your story validates my experience and gives me hope for my own success! I've lost 26.8 pounds, so I'm at the very beginning and seeing others' success is such an upper for me! It gives me hope that one day I'll post my own story. Thanks so much for sharing!


I read your story and how you are a little concerned about the saggy skin problem after weight loss. I can tell you at first is a little disheartening. But guess what It really does shrink up after time! I had a horrible double chin and when I lost weight it looked like a turkey waddle! but it finally shrunk up it took about a year. I did some reading on the subject and found out if you keep your calcium up and stay hydrated it really truly helps! Just keep in mind that the skin takes a whole lot longer to shrink. I still have some areas that really got stretched out (my butt) that I wish were not so saggy but I have to say the sagginess is about half gone now. :)



Original Post by: jeanice55

Wow!  CONGRATS! 

I am trying my best too to get to my first 100...at 75...and struggling a little. 

But I WONT GIVE UP!

You are an inspiration to me!

i am doing a GREAT work and I can't come down! (Nehemiah 6:3)


Thank you! you are doing great 75 is awesome! and I love your quote!



If you weigh 183 and start eating like someone who weighs 146, you'll eventually weigh 146. I did just that. I have continued to eat like someone who weighs 146. I've maintained the 146. Now. Is that dieting? Remember, it takes a lot of work to stay grossly over- weight. You must be sure to eat enough so you don't lose. Is that dieting. Perhaps. Food for thought.

Danielle, enjoy your new life. Eat whatever you want, I know you'll do it right.


Original Post by: jrbcd

If you weigh 183 and start eating like someone who weighs 146, you'll eventually weigh 146. I did just that. I have continued to eat like someone who weighs 146. I've maintained the 146. Now. Is that dieting? Remember, it takes a lot of work to stay grossly over- weight. You must be sure to eat enough so you don't lose. Is that dieting. Perhaps. Food for thought.

Danielle, enjoy your new life. Eat whatever you want, I know you'll do it right.

Thank you for encouragement :)



Congratulation Danielle.



Original Post by: loveangelprincess1

Congratulation Danielle.


Thank you, I appreciate your comment :)



Thanks for your story! My friends reaction when they notice me looking good and feeling good was, "What is wrong with you? are you sick. You are losing weight." I just smile and respond back with, "No, are you sick because you are really big." and then we laugh. But, thanks for being honest. -Abel



Original Post by: lbc562

Thanks for your story! My friends reaction when they notice me looking good and feeling good was, "What is wrong with you? are you sick. You are losing weight." I just smile and respond back with, "No, are you sick because you are really big." and then we laugh. But, thanks for being honest. -Abel


I know what you mean. My neighbor asked if I was sick too! I just replied "not anymore". :) But for the most part people have been complimentary.



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