How I Managed to Lose 105 lbs
Lionpaw managed to lose over 105 lbs by making small changes to her eating habits and staying physically active. Lionpaw shared with us some of the challenges she faces as she continues to lose weight and described a number of motivations that help keep her on track.
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?
It was the slow culmination of a number of factors. The final trigger was when my doctor said "you know, your triglycerides are high; you could cut down on carbs and that might fix that." So I started eating low-carb lunches, and making other small changes, and slowly the train started to take off.
2. What other "diets" (programs, products, plans, or services) had you tried in the past?
Nothing really specific. I'd tried various kinds of exercise that I never really stuck with.
3. What changes did you make to your usual diet, activity, lifestyle, and attitude?
I made slow changes that, over the course of a year, resulted in a complete turnaround in everything - my diet, my activity, and my health. I started with the realization that my weight loss journey would not be fast, and that I needed to make it enjoyable. I set out to find healthy foods I enjoyed eating, and found, to my surprise and delight, that I really liked bell peppers. That was my first success; I have since found all kinds of healthy foods I enjoy eating. I LOVE what I eat. Overall, I greatly decreased the amount of processed carbs in my diet, and increased the fiber, protein, and vegetable content.
I also tried to ensure I picked exercises I enjoyed, so I started by taking walks with my dog. At first, I would walk down to the grocery store about a quarter mile away, and I had to stop and sit on the benches on the path both going there and coming back. Slowly, I was able to walk further and faster. Then I started adding in a little jogging - just an 1/8th of a mile at a time at first, then more. That culminated in me running a 5k in March.
4. How did Calorie Count help you to lose weight?
No one had ever told me the simple math behind weight loss, and Calorie Count was extremely helpful in that regard. Calorie Count has also been a great place to find information about tailoring my diet to my goals. Probably the most helpful thing about Calorie Count now is the recipe analyzer. My fiance makes wonderful healthy meals for me now, and I use the recipe analyzer all the time to figure out the resulting nutrition.
5. What was most challenging about losing weight?
I have had repeated, stubborn plateaus that sometimes take a long time to break through, and recently as I near my final goal, my weight loss has slowed even though I'm more active than ever.
6. How long did it take you to see results?
To begin with I started seeing results in 2 weeks, and for the first 8 months my weight dropped steadily.
7. When did you realize that you were a success?
When I started losing weight, I could barely walk up a flight of stairs, and my knees would be stiff after sitting in a car for half an hour. After a couple months, stairs were no longer a major challenge and my knees were only stiff on rainy days.
8. How do you prevent relapse?
I remember what it was like to weigh over 300 lbs. I think about how uncomfortable I was, how much my knees and feet hurt, how horrible I felt about myself, and how annoying it was to have clothing catch under my fat rolls.
9. How has your life changed now that you've lost weight?
I have so much more energy and so much more self-confidence than I used to. More important than anything else, is the effect I've seen on my immune system. I find myself succumbing to illness a lot less often, and when I do get sick, I don't get as sick and I recover a lot more quickly than I used to.
10. What five tips do you have for other dieters?
- Make the journey enjoyable. Find healthy food that you enjoy
eating, and find activities you enjoy engaging in.
- Don't try to change everything at once. Make small changes one at
a time, and you'll be surprised how fast it adds up.
- Be resilient. There will be frustrating weeks, and injuries that
slow you down, and illnesses that reverse your progress. When
whatever it is has passed, get back in the game. Enjoying your
activity and your food will help with that.
- Give yourself a break once in a while. I take weekends off from
counting, and eat basically whatever I want as long as I get all my
veggies. It makes forbidding myself banana bread and chips in the
middle of the week easier, because I can say "oh, I'll eat that this
- Plan your meals ahead of time. It's a lot easier to eat healthy
if you know at 5 pm Tuesday that you're going to be eating homemade
chicken stirfry and you can start cooking, rather than getting hungry
at 6:30 and looking around the kitchen for whatever's fast and easy.
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