Self Confidence Is a Beautiful Thing
58lbs lighter, Katywhoknows is thrilled with her new figure. Here she tells us how she made lifestyle changes that included counting calories, regular exercise, portion control and eating healthier - all of which helped her shed those unwanted 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 "Aha!" moment was when I read an article in the Time magazine about the growing number of doctors who stopped telling patients that they were overweight/obese. In my mind, I was always waiting for the doctor to tell me. So this was a revelation and I decided that it was time. At 31, I knew I wouldn't continue being healthy for much longer if I didn't get rid of the weight.
2. What other "diets" (programs, products, plans, or services) had you tried in the past?
I have never tried any diet or plan. I used to think about my weight but didn't really get beyond that. I knew that when the time was right, I would do something about it. But until then, I just let it be. I have always been a vegetarian (from birth) so I had a feeling that a ready-made solution wouldn't work in my case.
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 spent about 15 days just gathering information on food, exercise, calories etc. Then I started with implementing a rough daily calorie limit followed by healthy variations of everything I ate and a daily log. Finally within the same month, I also started working out 3 x week (30minutes) at Curves. We also moved towards eating organic food as much as possible. The major changes I made to my diet was following serving size on the containers, getting rid of butter and eggs for the most part and going from whole to skim milk. While I strictly followed portion control for rice and pasta, I didn't totally stop eating carbs or sugar. I needed to be realistic at all times.
4. Please describe how Calorie Count was instrumental to your weight loss.
As a novice, I relied heavily on looking up information on Calorie Count. I used it to figure out calories in everything I cooked. I also read a lot of posts/blogs etc. It is always helpful to see others going through similar situations and learning from everyone.
5. What difficulties did you experience losing weight?
Since childhood I've had bouts of Vasovagal Syncope (fainting/blackout spells) under physical stress. A little bit of exercise increases my heart rate to the point of having a blackout. Once again through online search I found that constantly sipping a Vitamin & Mineral drink would take care of it. And it did! Over the months, I found that my stamina improved and although I still keep drinking while exercising, it's no longer a must. Apart from that, I had severely sore muscles. I wasn't going to give up and nothing could get in my way. So I used to apply an OTC cream pre and post workout and/or take a tylenol as needed.
6. How long did it take you to see results? When did you realize that you were a success?
At the end of the first month, I had my first weigh-in at Curves. I remember talking about it to my husband and he said I probably wouldn't have lost any weight. I was hoping that I had lost about 3-4lb just so I could see some results and stay motivated. As it turned out, I had lost 11 lbs! There was no turning back. Now I've lost over 55lbs!
7. How do you prevent relapse?
As someone who is very analytical and holds logic in high regard, I don't think relapse is a possibility. My obesity started due to a total lack of information on food. I was obese for 10 years, starting around first pregnancy, then through the second and finally I just didn't know how to tackle it. Now with the tools and knowledge I do have, it's on my mind all the time. I still eat foods that I love but now it is in moderation.
8. How has your life changed now that you've lost weight?
The last 10 years I felt trapped in my body. The "ME" that was inside didn't match with what I saw in the mirror. So now that is finally resolved. It's given me confidence and happiness. On a lighter note, I've replaced my entire wardrobe and loved shopping for it!
9. How long have you maintained your current weight?
I've been at 131 lbs for about a month now. I'm not sure if I can shed more pounds. But I'm going to concentrate on building some strength and muscle. I'm not trying to look a certain way so at this point my goal is flexible.
10. What five tips do you have for other dieters?
- Do your research and know your food. It is a lot easier (at least for me) to skip the muffin or just take one bite of the cake if I know the calories in it!
- Exercise! Easier said than done. I try to go to Curves thrice a week and take a walk outside or on the treadmill when possible.
- Drink water. I always start my meal by gulping down a full glass of water.
- Modify recipes and eat healthy. Baking without butter and eggs or substituting popchips for chips, making a pizza with very little or no cheese and only veggies etc.
- Staying positive. Even if you can't shed a pound, or you just blew a week or two of healthy eating, it is important to be positive. Don't give up and keep pushing yourself to your goal.
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.