My Extreme Makeover
Have you ever looked at a picture of yourself and didn't know who you were looking at? Well, that's what happened to Eyegal. Seeing a picture of herself at such a heavy weight was horrifying, but now it’s a constant reminder of just how far she’s come after losing over 110lbs.
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?
For my Mom's 60th birthday, I planned an "Extreme Home Makeover" style party for her. My siblings, along with my cousins and myself, worked all weekend to remodel and paint her house. Pictures were taken throughout the work to create a scrapbook. I saw a picture of me, holding a hose outside, and broke down crying. I knew I was fat, but I didn't realize "how big" I had become. My weight was something I had carried around, but I had avoided looking at. I was forced to confront my size when I saw this picture. I knew I had two choices: I could give up and stay an unhealthy size, or I could get to work. I decided that day that I was going to conduct my own "personal" extreme makeover.
2. What other "diets" (programs, products, plans, or services) had you tried in the past?
I had the perfect excuse for being fat. I have a disability. On all of the diet themed shows, I have never seen a contestant featured with a non-obesity related disability. I have an amputation. I rationalized that I wasn't able to work-out. I suppose I used Snickers bars to soothe the pain of losing my limb.
I tried to monitor my weight after my amputation, but I was never successful. I needed to discover exercises that would provide me with success, and that wouldn't hurt my residual limb. Trying it on my own, and hiding my diet aspirations, was not successful. I needed to declare my intentions to my family and friends.
3. What changes did you make to your usual diet, activity, lifestyle, and attitude?
I've changed every aspect of my lifestyle. I replaced starchy potatoes and salty chips with brown rice. I eat fresh vegetables and salads every day. As a Mom to a young child, I knew that it was imperative that I raise him with healthy eating habits. I found it ironic when I realized I was giving him vegetables to eat with his meal, while my husband and I ate chips and Doritos with ours. The junk food has been thrown away.
I no longer use my amputation as an excuse for not exercising. Rather, my disability has become a challenge; something that I strive to overcome. I am now always trying new activities and testing the limits of living as an amputee.
4. How did Calorie Count help you to lose weight?
Calorie Count helped to keep me accountable. I love the research aspect. I am able to quickly locate the caloric information for all of the foods that I eat. I am also a fan of the exercise calorie converter. All in all, Calorie Count has helped to keep me on track and to not lose sight of my goal.
5. What was most challenging about losing weight?
The most challenging aspect of losing weight has been releasing the blame and anger that I held against myself for gaining the weight. I realized that I was hampering myself with negative feelings. It was difficult, but I have learned to accept the weight gain as a phase in my life, a physical symptom of the loss I felt over losing my limb. As soon as I began to forgive myself, the weight started to shed away.
6. How long did it take you to see results?
I saw the scale start to move within the first week. Unfortunately, being so large, I couldn't see a physical result for about 2 months. This was discouraging, but I tried to "keep my eye on the goal."
7. When did you realize that you were a success?
I went to an amusement park after I lost approximately 25 pounds. While waiting in line, I saw a sign detailing all of the ride restrictions. I noticed that the ride had a 250 pound weight capacity. I was appalled that, just a few months earlier, I would have exceeded that weight. Because I lost weight, I was able to ride with my family. This event solidified that I was on the right track.
8. How do you prevent relapse?
I monitor my food intake daily. I am now a fan of exercising, and that in and of itself is amazing! I know that I am gaining weight when my leg starts to get too tight. Staying at a healthy weight is imperative to my health. It is also important because it puts less strain and pressure on my stump. I keep a picture of "fat Peggy" on the refrigerator. Whenever I need motivation, I look at my little boy. I can't do anything about him having a Mommy with one leg, but I am determined that he will NOT have the one legged fat Mommy.
9. How has your life changed now that you've lost weight?
I have more energy. I am a healthier, happier person. I am a better Mommy and wife. I am becoming the person I dreamed I would be. After I lost my leg I never dreamed that I would see this person again... and now she is looking back at me in the mirror.
10. What five tips do you have for other dieters?
- Forgive yourself.
- Set small goals.
- Don't hide your diet from your family and friends. They will be
supportive if you let them.
- Discover non-food ways to treat yourself.
- Find something that you love to do and get busy doing it. You
don't have to be great, or even good. It just helps if you are having
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.