Janienemily conquered her sugar cravings and lost over 65lbs by changing her eating habits and adding exercise, all of which has slimmed her to a size she now loves.
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 always wanted to lose weight but never had the motivation, especially to exercise. A friend of mine got the Wii Fit for her birthday and I thought this might be a great way to get started. So I asked for one for my upcoming birthday and put my plan in action!
2. What other "diets" (programs, products, plans, or services) had you tried in the past?
I tried dieting on my own once about 2 years ago simply by trying to eat less. I became frustrated pretty quickly because I was hungry all the time and felt like I was starving myself. Needless to say, it didn't last long!
3. What changes did you make to your usual diet, activity, lifestyle, and attitude?
I started my journey by making the time to exercise every day, no matter how busy I was (and like most moms, I am always busy!). I would do 1/2 hr of aerobics on the Wii each morning and 1/2-1 hr of walking each evening. This meant that most mornings I would be up before daylight, and walking in the evenings long past darkness fell. As far as my diet, I immediately gave up the 4-5 sodas I had been drinking each day and replaced them with water or diet soda. I made healthier choices, such as salad instead of fries or yogurt, and fruit instead of chips or a chocolate bar. Probably one of the hardest things I did was reducing my portion sizes, since I am one of those people who feels the need to finish everything on my plate! However, this became easier as I just put fewer amounts of food on my plate and could still eat it all. Also, with time, I felt fuller faster than I had before.
4. How did Calorie Count help you to lose weight?
Calorie Count gave me great information about amounts of calories in food, which I had never really thought about before. It motivated me to look more closely at food labels, which I do all the time now. Also, the community and support that people lend to one another on Calorie Count is amazing!
5. What was most challenging about losing weight?
The most challenging was giving up the "bad" snacks. I had some awful cravings at first, and I wanted to jump in the car, buy a ton of chocolate bars and just pig out! I just had to replace those snacks with other sweet, healthy snacks that would satisfy the cravings. One of my favorites is a bowl of frozen strawberries and yogurt. The exercise was difficult at first also, but I was motivated to keep going because of how much better I felt - especially in terms of my renewed energy level.
6. How long did it take you to see results?
I took me about 3 months to really see it on myself, although I had others notice within about 6 weeks. I noticed the biggest change in my clothing first.
7. When did you realize that you were a success?
I work in a retail store and I had customers notice and compliment me almost everyday. I loved it because it felt like a little reward for all of my hard work! It also kept me motivated to keep it up. I think I knew I was really a success when I purchased jeans in a size 9 when I had previously been a size 18! THAT was a great moment.
8. How do you prevent relapse?
I look at some old photos of myself and they remind me that I never want to go back to the old me again. I also keep a pair of my pre-diet jeans as a reminder of just how much I had let myself go. Just looking at myself in the mirror now is enough to keep me going. I actually like what I see now... that is something I hadn't felt for a long time.
9. How has your life changed now that you've lost weight?
I think the biggest change for me has been the exercise. Before I began, my knees ached almost daily at work and even when I went to bed. I think I might even have had the beginnings of arthritis. My knees never feel that way anymore. I'm not sure if this is the result of the weight loss or the exercise or both, but it is fantastic to be free of that pain! I also feel so much more confident. I think when you look and feel good about yourself, it shows to others.
10. What five tips do you have for other dieters?
- Make the time to exercise, no matter what. I have 2 children, one who is severely disabled and I work full-time. Fit it in whenever you can, even if it has to be very early or very late.
- Clean out the fridge/cupboard. Fill them with healthier foods
and take away the temptations.
- You CAN do it and don't use the word "can't". It IS possible!
- Don't get discouraged if you have a day where you didn't
exercise, or you ate something you shouldn't have, or the scale
doesn't show you results. Don't panic - tomorrow is a new day!
- NEVER GIVE UP!!! And lean on your family or friends for support!
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.