The Joy of Losing 145 Pounds
Have you ever looked into a mirror and disliked what you were looking at? Well, that's what happened to Randomwhale. Seeing himself at such a heavy weight was not a laughing matter anymore and prompted him to start his weight loss journey. He has lost an incredible 145 lbs by making changes to his eating and exercise habits.
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?
It was around two weeks after I found out that my girlfriend cheated on me. I came to realization that I wasn’t particularly angry with the fact that I was cheated on but more frustrated with what I’ve let myself become. When I looked in the mirror, I hated myself. I usually laughed at being unhealthy and I never really considered it to be a problem. On March 30, 2009, I looked at myself and I couldn’t laugh it off anymore. I was unhappy and unhealthy. At that moment I thought, I can do something about the latter and maybe someday it’ll affect the former.
2. What other "diets" (programs, products, plans, or services) had you tried in the past?
I tried Atkins almost a decade ago but I developed kidney stones because of the salt intake and I never really see it go the long run because it was more of a deprivation diet than anything else. I couldn’t imagine maintaining that sort of diet style for the rest of my life.
3. What changes did you make to your usual diet, activity, lifestyle, and attitude?
I’ve always had enough willpower and discipline thanks to my upbringing but I knew that if I deprived myself too quickly or did too many activities all at once, I wouldn’t be able to last. With this in mind, I started by decreasing my intake. Instead of a mountain of rice on a plate, I moved it into a bowl. Instead of starting off at the gym, I played basketball every day. The most important change I made was making a conscious decision to be 100% committed to my lifestyle change. If I went in half-hearted, I was just wasting my time and money.
4. How did Calorie Count help you to lose weight?
Whenever I was unsure with the nutrition facts of foods, I’d check this site. I’d also recommend it to other friends. I wasn’t able to fill in the food and activity log everyday because I kept a separate journal for that. I went to other sites but I thought their features were incomplete. Calorie count can adjust the serving, divide it into meals and grade the over nutritional value of your diet. It’s really helpful.
5. What was most challenging about losing weight?
The most challenging part was living with people who weren’t dieting. I was living in a studio with around ten comic artists. For those who have no idea how comic artists live, here’s an eye-opener. Artists usually eat instant food, junk food or sweets for the sheer convenience of it and since they have abnormal body clocks (some sleep at night and some sleep at day), the people around me tend to be constantly eating. Although our studio had a maid who would cook and clean for us, she usually cooks fatty foods because the majority of the staff didn’t mind as long as it tastes good and they found it to be a lot cheaper.
6. How long did it take you to see results?
A couple of months after I started, I noticed some changes but since you look in the mirror every day, some changes aren’t as visible. I started out at 325 so any weight change wouldn’t immediately affect my image and since my clothes were huge, I couldn’t see it then. People would say that I’ve gotten thinner but I’d just stock it in as motivation and move on.
7. When did you realize that you were a success?
I wouldn’t classify it as a clear cut realization but more of a moment where I wanted to congratulate myself for going this far. I think major moments included buying a large size shirt (I used to wear XXXXL shirts) and getting to wear my brother’s 36-inch waist line pants (I wore 48-inch pants with a 50-inch belt).
8. How do you prevent relapse?
Besides having a support group, my food log keeps me in line. I believe that having a base diet (A basic diet you go back to after you eat an occasional not-so-healthy meal) allows you to get back on track. At my current lifestyle and diet, I can imagine myself eating like this for the rest of my life. Another thing that helps me during maintenance is my overall awareness on the benefits of healthy eating. I read up on a lot of diet books and I have an idea on the negative effects certain foods have on your health. It’s like telling yourself, “you know it’s bad for you, so why do it?” It’s the same mentality I use to avoid smoking.
9. How has your life changed now that you've lost weight?
I certainly feel better now compared to a year and half ago. I also try and help other friends who’re currently struggling with their own personal weight problems. Shopping for food and clothes has definitely changed for the better. I don’t have to be stuck at the big guy’s section of the men’s department at the mall. When I shop for food, I feel that there are a lot more options now.
10. What five tips do you have for other dieters?
- Keep a food log, update it daily and review it before going to bed. It can be as basic as the name of the meal (Breakfast, lunch, dinner) and the type of food you consumed.
- Don’t get frustrated when your weight suddenly plateaus. It happens to everyone. You just have to continue doing what you’re doing or shift your diet a bit to jumpstart your weight loss. If your weight still won’t budge, go to my next tip.
- Read up. I can’t guarantee which diet books speak the truth but enough of them have enough consistent information that you can use to help you choose which food to consume and which exercises to do.
- Learn to substitute. Some foods are obviously healthier than others so once you settle down with a certain menu for a week, learn to mix it up and analyze. Which foods can I do without? Which ingredients can I change to make this dish healthier? How can I prepare this meal without resorting to deep frying everything in sight?
- Make exercising a habit. A lot of people will tell you that they don’t have time to work out or exercise and when you take a look at the time they spend watching TV, surfing the net, talking on the phone or just plain old daydreaming, you’d wonder why they can’t fit exercise in it. Don’t treat exercise as a form of punishment. Use the mind set of, the more time you spend exercising, the less time you’ll spend in the hospital years from now. It won’t work for everyone but it’s a start.
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