Mind Over Body
A friendly bet was what motivated A36 to start his weight loss journey. Not only has he lost 100 lbs, he’s gained more energy, confidence and higher self-esteem. In his story he shares how it wasn’t initially easy becoming more nutrition conscious. However, making small changes in his food portions, and adding daily exercise has become the new lifestyle that he’s committed to and determined to stick with.
He 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?
I was at McDonalds (of all places) with a couple of friends. One of our friends commented on our weight and challenged us to bet each other as to who could lose the most weight by the end of the semester. The bet started at $150 and even though my large friend was a bit over confident, I was determined to win! As it went I lost 13 pounds and he gained 4 pounds and it was there that I realized that I could lose so much more weight if I really wanted to. So I did and even though no money was on the line, I now wanted to better my body for myself.
2. What other "diets" (programs, products, plans, or services) had you tried in the past?
I really didn't try any other diets before I got full throttle into eating and living healthy. Although I will say that during my diet I tried the Hydroxycut pills and lost 10 pounds in a week, but the next week I caught the flu and was unable to workout and I gained them all back. So I really don't recommend them and plus you feel so much more proud when you lose the weight manually.
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 come from a Mexican background, so my mother's cooking although very delicious, was not very healthy. I slowly began substituting all my foods with healthier options, because for me it was impossible to go cold turkey. So I began purchasing my own foods and also buying healthy frozen foods and I replaced all my drinks with water in due time. I also got a gym membership and began working out 5 times a week for at least 2 hours. It wasn't an easy transition, but luckily with a job on the weekends and getting out of school at 12 I was able to balance everything out perfectly.
4. Please describe how Calorie Count was instrumental to your weight loss.
Calorie Count was my savior! Had I not found out about it I'd probably be in a worst condition then I was in my before picture. A friend introduced me to it, and I slowly began learning the horrors that I was consuming. At first my family would grow irritated because I counted everything I ate, but looking at it now they see Calorie Count was perhaps the main instrument to my weight loss.
5. What difficulties did you experience losing weight?
Definitely not going out to eat with family on a weekly basis, because our dynamic was based on going out to eat as a family every weekend. Unfortunately there aren't many restaurants that provide you with cheap healthy food, and till this day there are times where I reject an invitation to go to a fast food restaurant with them. I do join them from time to time but sometimes I am just so happy that they are very understanding of my new lifestyle.
I also have to say changing my diets constantly, because there's a point where you hit a wall and in order to overcome it you have to change it. For example I started it off with just cutting junk food, then I had to start working out more, and then I hit The Great Wall of China but luckily Calorie Count helped me get to the other side and I have to say it feels amazing!
6. How long did it take you to see results? When did you realize that you were a success?
It's strange because there was a period where I was working out non-stop and eating healthy, but I myself was not paying attention to the changes in my body. It wasn't until I went to a church event and saw my friends and family for the first time since going into my diet that everyone's eyes were just opened and everyone complimented me on my weight loss, it felt amazing!
Also, not too long ago, I went to visit some of my old friends from high school at their college and everyone passed by me and didn't acknowledge me... Although I felt rejected at first, everyone apologized and said they didn't mean to do it on purpose, but that I just simply looked like a completely different person.
7. How do you prevent relapse?
I don't know how to explain it, but for example if I over ate during the week and I didn't work out I would feel horrible and feel more than ever motivated to work out and continue my journey to bettering my body.
Also, I love how I look! Once you get there, it's an indescribable feeling where you never want to go back to that place where you felt so miserable looking at yourself in the mirror.
8. How has your life changed now that you've lost weight?
Wow my life has changed drastically... I think it's best if I place it on a list!
1. My self-esteem has never been higher, I love who I am for the first time in my life.
2. I am now able to talk to girls without feeling like they are going to reject me right off the bat because of my weight.
3. I've been told by so many that I am an inspiration to them, and that feels phenomenal.
4. I can now move around better, I walk almost everywhere if the location is not too far off.
5. Clothes! I know I'm going to sound very feminine, but I love shopping now because I went from a 5X to a XL and almost every store has XL's in stock. It feels awesome not having to worry if that store will have your size or not.
9. How long have you maintained your current weight?
Well I haven't maintained my current weight in all honesty; I keep striving to lose more and more weight. Not to mention I'm trying to build muscle so that I can love my body that much more. I figured once I lost 100 pounds I would stop, but I'm still going strong every day at the gym and still eating healthy.
10. What five tips do you have for other dieters?
- MOST IMPORTANTLY! Rely on yourself: Only you have the power to get to your weight goal. Too many times I see friends, couples, co-workers, etc. go and workout together, and one is always more motivated than the other and because of it one of them is deprived of the opportunity to reach their full potential. It's all you and when you get to the top it will feel that much more satisfying knowing that.
- Working out is a must! If you want to see some real results you have to go workout. Even if all you have in your busy schedule is 15 minutes of walking, you will notice a huge difference just by applying it.
- Eating healthy: Not the easiest and not the cheapest, but online or even here on Calorie Count you will find some healthy alternatives or tasty meals one can make in the comfort of their own home.
- Don't quit using Calorie Count: It never fails you, it's always here for you, and hopefully you will gain motivation from reading success stories just like mine.
- Believe in Yourself: You have to believe you're going to attain your goal, because if you come in with a weak mentality you're going to have weak outcomes. Have the strength; prove those who doubt you wrong! If you're fortunate enough to not have any, prove to yourself that you can put your mind, heart and body into it and you will attain anything.
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