My Path to Success
Daviesbob lost 41 pounds, normalized his blood sugar and no longer requires Cholesterol lowering medicines. His path to success? He made the decision to commit to losing weight, started exercising, and reduced the volume of his food. His reward? Well read on...
He 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? Did you have an "Aha!" moment?
My "Aha!" moment was when I went to the doctor and had a blood test because it is required while taking Cholesterol lowering meds. The doctor called when the test came back and told me my long term sugar levels were at 7.4, my cholesterol was at 250 and my Triglycerides were at 400. These levels were off the charts. Mind you, I take two drugs to lower these levels. I was particularly bothered by the sugar level because the doctor told me at those levels I was diabetic. My brother is diabetic and 13 years ago had a massive heart attack and at that time he was the same age as I am today. I knew diabetes is a killer and I knew I was at a serious life changing point in my life.
2. What other "diets" (programs, products, plans, or services) had you tried in the past?
I consider myself to be a very medically informed individual and had made a life style change about 12 years ago when my brother had a heart attack that doctors referred to as a widow maker attack. I lost probably 25 pounds on a low carb selection of foods and I felt great. Several years after this success my career started going downhill as technology changed the industry I was in and unfortunately I went from a very high earning provider to an average income earner. So I made some changes to recreate myself and became a custom home builder and started to become successful when the housing market crashed and I lost all my savings. These events took a great toll on my spirit and will power. I started eating all the foods I loved and in the quantities that momentarily improved my spirits. Needless to say I regained the 25 pounds plus probably another 15.
3. What changes did you make to your usual diet, activity, lifestyle, and attitude?
After getting that call from the doctor, and selling my last spec home and landing a new job in the corporate world, all in the same week, my state of mind was in a new place and I knew I needed to solve this diabetes issue. I knew how to lose the weight; I just needed to make the decision to do what I knew I should have been doing all along. My family had been giving me advice and had been sending me diet plans in an effort to help me. That just irritated me, because I knew that until I made the decision to commit to losing weight it would not happen. I didn’t need a diet, I just needed to mentally make up my mind to make a change. I started exercising every day between 30 and 45 minutes a day and when possible, I did this twice a day. I reduced the volume of food I ate and tried to consume as few carbohydrates as possible in my diet. I also started eating fish a couple times a week which I normally would not care for, but when you consume less food the foods you do eat taste significantly better than when you have been overeating. I had a new blood test scheduled for 3 months from the last and I wanted to have significantly better sugar levels the next time!
4. How did Calorie Count help you to lose weight?
I found Calorie Count online and it was great for tracking my intake as well as the calories that I burned. Actually it was a motivating tool because I couldn't wait to enter my food and exercise as a confirmation that I was doing the right thing. At times it was frustrating because I hit some plateaus and by the math it didn’t make sense that my weight loss would pause like it did. During these times, I could read stories and research on the site to learn that this is common and eventually if I stick with it the barrier will fall.
5. What was most challenging about losing weight?
I had a lot of motivation because I wanted to look good for my new job and I needed to improve my health. The hard part was that others outside of my family really didn't comment and of course I was working hard at it and wanted the reward of others noticing my success. They clearly could see the difference but they rarely shared that with me. As a very social personality that frustrated me.
6. How long did it take you to see results?
I could see results in the first few weeks but few others noticed. After about 6 weeks my extended family took notice and that was rewarding. I continued to exercise and consume approximately 1600 calories a day with a low percentage of carbohydrates.
7. When did you realize that you were a success?
I Knew I was doing well when my pant size dropped from 40 inches to 36 inches. While I liked this, I really wanted to drop a lot more. My weight at this point had dropped from 237 pounds to about 208 pounds. I felt a lot better and I craved exercise. Yes it can become addictive just like food does once you break through that barrier and improve your health enough to make exercise possible.
Here is the real proof that, what I was doing makes a significant difference in health. My doctor called after my new blood test which I took 3 months following the first test. He called me a rock star and suggested that I write a book. My long term sugar level went from 7.4 down to 5.7 (normal), my cholesterol went from 250 down to 115 (normal) and my Triglycerides went from 400 down to 67 (my Triglycerides have always been through the roof). These results are worthy of writing this story.
8. How do you prevent relapse?
I am not done. By the calculators for weight that are online, I am still classified as obese at 6 feet tall. I want to get down to a lean 12% fat which puts my target at about 173 pounds. I am sure it will be a challenge but I intend to stick with my 1600 calorie diet until I get there. Once I reach my goal I think I can consume between 2,000 and 2,500 calories per day along with exercise every day and maintain my weight without gaining.
9. How has your life changed now that you've lost weight?
I have extra energy, I am more willing to do work around the house and the dread of physical activity is gone. I didn’t want to do anything that required physical activity before because it was miserable. Now, I feel great and I do more around the house and even my relationship with my wife is better because I am happier and feel great. My kids love that I am happier and we go to the gym together as a family on the weekends. Life is better all the way around now!
10. What five tips do you have for other dieters?
- It only works if you are committed, nobody can tell you or show you.
- You have to make the decision and be committed to being healthy. Until
you do, life will not change.
- Your lifestyle has to change - no special diet works, it's a balance, calories on one side and exercise on the other.
- If you faithfully track your intake and expenditure of calories, your consumption awareness level will radically improve. Now I actually wonder why I wasn’t even bigger than I was. I know what I ate and I realize that some of the calories had to be discarded by my body instead of being stored as fat. I believe that is why losing weight is harder than gaining weight.
- One way I use the Calorie Count tool is by listing my activity level as sedentary and then I enter my exercise as additional activity that allows me to track both intake and output more accurately which motivates me to exercise more.
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