Lighter and Happier
43lbs lighter, lisayoung909 is thrilled with her new figure. Here she tells us how she made lifestyle changes that included regular exercise, portion control and eating healthier, all of which helped her shed those unwanted pounds.
She 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?
In April 2009, I moved from the UK to the USA, and was fatter and heavier than I had ever been before. The reputation of America as a 'big-eating nation' frightened me that I was just going to get bigger and bigger and would go back to the UK in 3 years double-sized.
2. What other "diets" (programs, products, plans, or services) had you tried in the past?
I've always proudly stated that I've never been on a diet! I truly believed I was just big-boned and as I eat plenty of veggies, I was still healthy, so didn't need to diet. This attitude was just masking the fact that I was scared to really try to lose weight and had become unhealthy.
3. What changes did you make to your usual diet, activity, lifestyle, and attitude?
I now go to the gym as often as possible (I aim for 5 times a week, but it is usually 2-3 times). As I prefer team sports, I also joined a soccer team and began playing once or twice a week. I changed my usual breakfast from toast, to fruit and yogurt and I began weighing my servings of pasta, rice, potatoes etc.
4. How did Calorie Count help you to lose weight?
Calorie Count has been invaluable to help me recognize the calorie values of food and help me to make wiser decisions about my food intake. I love the Burn and Eat Meters on my home page and use them to challenge myself to keep a 400-500 gap between them to keep steadily losing weight.
5. What was most challenging about losing weight?
Exercise, exercise, exercise... I haven't got the 'gym bug' and so running on the treadmill is still a chore, but the Burn Meter is a good inspiration to keep going.
6. How long did it take you to see results?
The first 10lbs made no obvious difference, during the next 10lbs I started to feel better and was inspired to continue the exercise. When I had lost 20lbs, my body just seemed to suddenly dramatically change shape. I had a waist again! Now 40+ lbs down, all my trousers simply fall off me and my tops are like tents on me.
7. When did you realize that you were a success?
I went clothes shopping and bought new jeans that weren't the biggest size in the shop, or from a plus-size dept. I had to send my partner to get them in a smaller size. Now I can shop in funky designer stores that previously didn't cater for my size.
8. How do you prevent relapse?
I don't beat myself up about mini-relapses. If I have a bad day food-wise or put-off a gym visit, I let it go and start again tomorrow. I celebrate the success days. Not with food & wine, but I do something I enjoy - like take time for a country walk, a pampering bubble bath, or if money allows maybe get a new hairdo, or new item of clothing.
9. How has your life changed now that you've lost weight?
I just feel so much better. I'm healthier, can run further & faster, and that has made participating in sports so much more enjoyable. Plus I get compliments all the time.
10. What five tips do you have for other dieters?
- Weigh and eat only the recommended serving size of carbs.
- Find an exercise/sport that you enjoy taking part in.
- Find a 'under 100 calorie treat' that you love (I use Quaker 90 calorie Choc Chunk granola bars).
- Don't beat yourself up about a bad day, just start again.
- Celebrate successes!
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.