My Time to Shine
Losing weight isn't a breeze for many people. But for Firedoor78 her determination to change to a healthier lifestyle has paid off. She has lost over 66lb and decided to share with us her favorite physical fitness activities, the mental and emotional issues she encountered on her journey, and the things that keep her motivated.
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?
I had been toying about trying to lose weight again early on in the year. Especially when my doctor started complaining about my high cholesterol, BP and blood sugar. I am only 31 years old. I also hated shopping and not being able to fit into anything. One day I realized I had to shop in a boutique which caters for larger people and I was gutted. I never had to do that before; it was a huge blow to my self-esteem.
2. What other "diets" (programs, products, plans, or services) had you tried in the past?
I've never had to diet in the past. Before, when I started feeling a bit heavy, I'd just exercise for a few weeks and that kept the weight off. That was when I was in school and active in swimming and soccer. Now that I am older, I realized that I couldn't do that anymore! I needed to do something else and be more disciplined about what I ate.
3. What changes did you make to your usual diet, activity, lifestyle, and attitude?
It was a huge, complete turnaround. First, I had to accept the fact that I was a stress/emotional eater and that had to stop. I started trying to share my problems with my partner more instead of 'eating' it all up. As for food, I started with baby steps. First I stopped snacking on chocolates, donuts and baked products. Instead I switched to 2-3 pieces of fruit a day, low fat yogurt or nuts like almonds and walnuts. Then I switched everything: 2% for full cream, miracle whip for regular mayo, and so on. I stopped drinking soda, drank more water and stopped taking sugar and milk with coffee or tea. Since I've always been active in school, getting back into a regular exercise routine wasn't hard, in fact that's the part I've enjoyed the most. I exercise at least 45 minutes to an hour every day (cardio) and lift dumbbells 3x a week. Sundays are weigh-in days and I don't exercise or count calories then. As for my attitude, I decided to stop moaning about how large my behind was and actually get up and do something about it!
4. How did Calorie Count help you to lose weight?
The tools on this website are awesome. It sure beats manually logging calories in a notebook. The eat and burn meters were crucial to me staying on track. I regularly tracked my food until I basically became familiar with what and how much to eat. I sometimes still come back to track my calories when I am not sure. The community was great and the information from Ask Mary is really helpful. Also everyone here is very friendly and always finds time to cheer each other up or give motivation.
5. What was most challenging about losing weight?
The most challenging (and still is) is the negativity from other people. When I first told people I was starting with weight loss I was shot down, some people were saying I'll be quitting in three months or I was never going to make it, etc. It was rising above that and ignoring all the naysayers that was my biggest obstacle. It was tough and hurtful. Now that I've dropped five sizes and look really great, those same people are being snippy and jealous, some even accuse me of having taken diet pills/drugs, starving myself, or even having an ED.
6. How long did it take you to see results?
Not long at all. I dropped so much weight the first month that it took people less than two months to notice. I've steadily dropped 2-3 lbs a week since I started. I plateaued twice. And those didn't last long, two weeks at most. I must say I've been blessed!
7. When did you realize that you were a success?
I realized I was a success when I tried to put on those size 10 jeans that have been languishing at the back of my closet for 5 years... and they were lose! Also, I knew I had conquered my addiction to food when I could walk past the buffet without batting an eyelash, or when I automatically ordered veggies as a side instead of potatoes or rice when I ate out. Also, fitting into size 8 jeans made me feel like I was on top of the world!
8. How do you prevent relapse?
Usually, I call for an intervention. When I feel like eating cake when I know it wasn't in my eating plan, I'd call my partner to bring home some fruit. Before I put something unhealthy in my mouth, I always ask myself whether I really need it or if I am really hungry. Lastly, I pace myself, especially with the exercise. I actually have to talk myself out of working out on my rest days! I suspect those endorphins are addictive!
9. How has your life changed now that you've lost weight?
I got my self-confidence back and it has helped with work. I no longer feel heavy or exhausted all the time, and I stopped using and abusing food as a reward. I can also indulge in my favorite past time again - clothes shopping! My doctor is so happy and amazed at my progress that she even asked me what I was doing.
10. What five tips do you have for other dieters?
- Stick to your goals, you're worth it!
- Surround yourself with supportive, positive and loving people.
- Find an exercise you can happily imagine yourself doing for the
rest of your life.
- Stop using food as a reward or as a 'cure' for stress and pain.
This is a straight path to self-destruction.
- Accept the body that you were born with and count your blessings!
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.