Hard Work Pays Off
Gregory533185 has lost an astounding 115 pounds. He used to weigh over 290 and now weighs about 175. He started his determined weight loss journey in October 2009. It's been a lot of exercise and a big change in eating habits, all of which have produced incredible results.
He 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 struggled with my weight since I was 5. A few weeks before the day I decided to start the diet I went to my doctor. I had dark spots around my neck from the high insulin levels and weighed in at a massive 294. My father is overweight and I could see his struggles and what it sometimes put our family through, so I knew I didn't want to do that to my family later on. Also, I wanted lots of attention from the female gender! I decided that on the 19th it would be my last day as an overweight man and I went out with a bang, made a big post on my Facebook page and told my friends and family that I would lose all this weight finally. I didn't think I would get much back, but the support from my peers flooded in. I knew this time it felt different going in to it, I couldn't let these people down or myself.
2. What other "diets" (programs, products, plans, or services) had you tried in the past?
I tried working out or exercising and eating well but I never did it very long. I just always reverted to eating fast food daily or twice daily and not care about myself.
3. What changes did you make to your usual diet, activity, lifestyle, and attitude?
I cut out everything fried, fast food or that was baked or cooked with the addition of cooking oils. I started off by having cereal with low fat milk in a small portion, small portioned meals and I didn't snack much. I also started walking in the mornings and kept adding more time. Overtime I integrated basketball into my routine and added more healthy food to my diet when the results started to appear.
4. How did Calorie Count help you to lose weight?
Calorie Count started it off. I became so aware of everything I would put into my body. At first I was meticulous in inserting exactly my quantity of whatever I ate into the website, and overtime I started to count calories subconsciously. I now know exactly what I am eating, how much I should eat and what I would have to eat to balance my nutrition for the day if I ate something less healthy.
5. What was most challenging about losing weight?
At first it was going out and having healthy food in the house. I'm Hispanic and for one reason or another we like to use a lot of oils in our food, fry a lot of stuff and eat a lot of just really unhealthy things overall. The determination wouldn't let me cheat for things that weren't worth it. If I was going to cheat I'd plan around it.
6. How long did it take you to see results?
I chose not to weigh myself for the first 3 weeks. When I saw I lost 14lbs I was ecstatic. I got really excited and I just kept doing my thing and staying healthy. My friends and family started to see the results over time as the weight just melted off. I weighed myself once a week and would see drastic losses week in and week out. It was almost so fast I couldn't wrap my head around it.
7. When did you realize that you were a success?
When I was under 200 lbs for the first time since 8th grade. Little things would hit me and make me feel great like sitting in a desk/chair at the college or being able to wrap a towel around myself - things like that made me know my work payed off.
8. How do you prevent relapse?
Weekly cheat days. I pick 2 days during the week that I get to really enjoy some awesome non-dietary food. I make sure to workout extra around that day and the next day I eat lots of fruits/vegies and low fat foods.
9. How has your life changed now that you've lost weight?
My attitude towards hard work is different. I've developed a new work ethic fueled by determination and motivation. I was always a confident person and a funny entertaining guy but it's even more so now. When a challenge is presented upon me I look at it and say "Man, you lost 115+ lbs!" I look at life in a new way as an inspired individual who has overcome something which at one point was daunting but now, to me is a hurdle I overcame and with enough determination, anyone can.
10. What five tips do you have for other dieters?
- Cheat once in a while! You need to enjoy a dish you love. When you do, make sure to eat accordingly around it and stay away from fast food or something that will make you feel too bad - like high quantities or something that you know could kill a large animal if consumed.
- Weigh yourself once a week. It keeps you from going crazy and your
results will show much more.
- Don't eliminate a certain food group. If you like desserts, enjoy one! There are many healthy alternatives you can switch out like lite ice cream - you just need to find them.
- Find your eating style. You don't need to eat at a certain time, find what works for you and not what works for others.
- Use all the amazing functions that Calorie Count offers! Your caloric input/output is so important along with the charts, the community and
more! This website is an amazing tool and I don't think I would have
lost as much weight if I hadn't used it.
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.