My Journey to Wellness
For Alittletoomuchtiff, losing weight is more than just dieting. She made a commitment to change her lifestyle to include healthier eating habits, exercise, and the right mindset, which helped her lose 50 pounds.
She 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?
My story might be different than most. I suffered from alcohol addiction and soon found my weight and overall health suffering the consequences. Once I got treatment and was sober for a while, I decided it was time to get my weight and health problems due to my alcohol abuse under control. I stepped on the scale and weighed nearly 200 lbs. I had never been that big. For awhile I had decided that "oh well, I'm just a big girl now." Then I had my "Aha!" moment and realized "No!" I didn't have to just accept that I was older and no longer a thin person. I could get my weight under control just like I did my drinking problem.
2. What other "diets" (programs, products, plans, or services) had you tried in the past?
I tried the Southbeach diet, Jenny Craig, and Green Tea diet pills in my past. The Southbeach diet planted the seed for me to want to become educated about what foods were best. The others only have me temporary results, if that.
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 just became focused and highly motivated. I made the experience about getting healthy all around. Not just about being skinny again. I began cooking all of my own foods instead of eating out. I actually began using my gym membership and going 5 days a week. I also started buying fitness magazines to give me workout tips and keep me motivated. The most important change was the way I felt. I was gaining more confidence in myself and my body. It kept me from giving up. Giving up would not only keep me from losing the weight. It felt like I would be giving up on myself.
4. Please describe how Calorie Count was instrumental to your weight loss.
Calorie Count helped keep me accountable!! I logged what I ate and it helped me get a better sense of how I was eating on a daily basis. It also really helped me understand how many calories I needed to burn working out, in relation to how many calories I was taking in. I also loved that graph!! Watching that line decrease every time I entered my weight was the best.
5. What difficulties did you experience losing weight?
Really none. I knew I had to be patient and not put too much pressure on myself. As long as I kept eating as healthy as possible, and pushing myself in the gym. I knew I would continue to see results. When I struggled for the motivation to keep working out, I treated myself to a new workout outfit, or downloaded some new music to keep me on track.
6. How long did it take you to see results? When did you realize that you were a success?
I began noticing results about 2 months into the process. My clothes were getting big. I felt comfortable wearing tank tops and showing my arms again. And the people around me really began to react. They all wanted to know what I was doing! That's when I knew I had this. I had a handle on this thing. I could do it.
7. How do you prevent relapse?
I keep in mind that I never want to let moments of weakness undo what I've worked so hard for. I also learned so much about food that if I really wanted something, I usually found a much healthier way to make it at home. Like pizza or even nachos! I also give myself a break from time to time. I can be rigid and hard on myself and I had to learn not to be. If I miss a day at the gym that's ok! If I eat a cookie in the breakroom at work that is too! I know that my overall habits will keep me in the game if I just keep my head on straight and don't deviate from the overall plan.
8. How has your life changed now that you've lost weight?
I feel like I look just as good, if not better than I did in my 20's. I actually seek out physical activity now like when I was young. I even bought a bike! I have more confidence in myself obviously, but most importantly I have completely adopted a new lifestyle that I know will make me better in every aspect of my life.
9. How long have you maintained your current weight?
I've maintained the weight now for about a year and a half.
10. What five tips do you have for other dieters?
- Learn everything you can about food and sugar. From nutrition to methods of eating that can increase your metabolism.
- GET MOVING! You can't lose weight without it. Working out is the only thing that will help sculpt your body while losing. Giving you a better overall appearance.
- Don't use up your calories on drinks! Drink water and green tea without sugar. I never use calories on drinks that I could on food unless I count it as my snack (which you don't want to do often).
- Don't starve yourself!!! You have to eat in order to keep the muscle that you do have and burn the fat.
- Get enough sleep. Your body has to have adequate rest. Also you will have the energy you need to exert enough during your workouts.
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.