Happier Than I've Ever Been
Removing unhealthy foods from her diet and starting a strict workout routine was the solution for Pianowoman08 in battling her weight loss and food addiction. She has now lost 91 lbs and continues to count calories, engage in daily exercise and is well on her way in achieving her goal weight.
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?
After a summer of nonstop candy and take-out, I hopped on the scale to see what kind of damage I'd done. When I saw 231.4, something inside me clicked. Despite all of my failed weight loss attempts in the past, I knew this time I was ready. I knew I would never see that number again. I immediately went to the grocery store and bought all new food, and began my journey.
2. What other "diets" (programs, products, plans, or services) had you tried in the past?
I tried Alli for a little but the side effects were miserable. Besides that, I always concocted strange diet "plans" that were set up for failure, mainly starvation diets. Eventually I would give up, because nothing I ever tried was a healthy lifestyle change and sustainable forever.
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 reached my weight loss goal through disciplined calorie counting and exercising. I plan out my meal plan at least a day in advance so there are no calorie surprises at the end of the day. My overall diet is a lot healthier, but I was still allow a "treat" if it fits into my daily calorie allotment. I workout 5-6 days a week doing a variety of things: cardio, strength training, and classes (becoming a spin addict!). In general, I make it a point to be more active and spend less time sitting down. The most important change I could possibly make was EDUCATING myself! I spent a lot of time (still do!) researching everything from calorie intake to specific exercises.
4. Please describe how Calorie Count was instrumental to your weight loss.
Calorie Count is an AMAZING resource! While I often utilized the log, calculators, and the extensive food browser, the most significant tool on this website for me has been the forums. The forums are full of friendly and helpful people who are going through a similar journey, or have "been there, done that!" A lot of the useful information I received was from the first-hand accounts of other members. Calorie Count has truly helped me stay committed to this process!
5. What difficulties did you experience losing weight?
I fight everyday with my addictive relationship with food. I have no problem going to the gym or pushing myself, but I've had to learn other coping mechanisms than turning to food. I've made mistakes along the way, but the most important thing is that I've always gotten back on the wagon.
6. How long did it take you to see results? When did you realize that you were a success?
I saw results about a month in, when my pants started to not fit anymore. I realized I was a success when I ran into a friend who had not seen me since I started losing weight...and he literally did not RECOGNIZE me!
7. How do you prevent relapse?
I remind myself how far I've come. I look at old pictures, and don't even recognize the person I was for my entire life. Also, I've donated ALL of my bigger clothes. I think keeping them around would almost give me "permission" to gain the weight back. I won't be going back. I am way too determined.
8. How has your life changed now that you've lost weight?
My life has changed dramatically. I feel more confident and less anxious about social situations. I can shop in any store that I please. I have collarbones and hip bones...I had never seen those before. I can cross my legs. I can walk up a flight of stairs and not be red in the face and embarrassed because I can't breathe. I can wrap a towel around me...any towel. I could go on forever. The best change has been my attitude. I am happier than I've ever been!
9. How long have you maintained your current weight?
I'm still in the process of losing. About 15-20 lbs until my "goal," which may change the closer I get. I'm less concerned with the number on the scale, and more so with my body fat percentage!
10. What five tips do you have for other dieters?
- Don't let a minor setback discourage you and derail your efforts! One "cheat day" does NOT have to turn into a cheat week, unless you let it!
- Craving food but not actually hungry? Chew gum, drink hot tea, brush your teeth, take a walk! Distract yourself!
- Schedule in your exercise just like you schedule your job or classes, with the same level of importance. I've found doing this makes exercising feel like less of an "option!" I'd also recommend doing it in the early morning if at all possible - that way, you can't spend the rest of your day talking yourself out of it!
- DRINK YOUR WATER! Lots of it. Carry around a water bottle with you at all times! Cut out all empty liquid calories such as soda and juices. Way too much sugar and extremely high in calories! (Plus, wouldn't you rather *eat* your calories?)
- You have the power, at any time, right this second even, to decide you want to change your life and never look back. What's so significant about next week, tomorrow, or January 1st? Why not now?
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.