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Calorie Count Blog

Taking Back Control of My Life


By Sheila on Apr 18, 2011 10:00 AM in Success Stories

Cgvaters was determined to be fit and healthy for his children.  In his story he explains that changing his mindset and incorporating healthy food choices with exercise has helped him shed 126lbs. 

He 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?

It was a collection of moments, actually. I'd see pictures of myself and delete them so I wouldn't be reminded of my weight. I hated it because I have tons of pictures of my kids, but not that many of me with them. I wanted them to look back at the pictures and remember us as a family, not just a collection of kid pictures.

Also, my clothes we getting smaller by the week! I have always been a big guy, wearing XL for most of my adult life. Before I started my program, I was into 3X and some of that wouldn't last much longer. That's when I knew if I wanted to be alive to see my kids grow up I had to make the change, and NOW!

2. What other "diets" (programs, products, plans, or services) had you tried in the past?

I had lost 50 lbs prior to meeting my wife so I knew I could do it, I had just gotten complacent. Other than that, I have eaten what I wanted, when I wanted it. Over the past few years, I had gotten into the habit of sitting in front of the TV with a large bag of potato chips and a chocolate bar. It had gotten completely out of control.

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?

Well, I am still working towards my weight loss goal. My true goal isn't a final number, but maintaining a healthy weight that I can continue with for the rest of my life. I am aiming for 190 lbs and when I reach it (yea, I said WHEN, not IF) I will have lost a total of 161 lbs. As of today, I am down 126 lbs and loving it!!

I had to completely redesign my life. I joined a martial arts club. Now both my wife and I along with our oldest son all participate in taekwondo training twice a week. Also, I started an at home cardio program. Usually between 40 - 60 minutes of elliptical training at high intensity 3 - 4 times a week. Along with that activity, I feel that my eating habits are what have contributed the most to my success.

I have almost entirely cut out a lot of the refined carbs, and am eating mostly lean protein (chicken breasts or fish) and a lot of green mixed salads and steamed vegetables.

My attitude towards food has taken a complete 180. It's true that to succeed, you need to eat to live, not live to eat! Treat food as fuel for your body, like the gas you put into your car.

4. Please describe how Calorie Count was instrumental to your weight loss.

Calorie Count has been a treasure chest of information from the forums to the food logs. The community support reaffirms you when you are feeling like giving up. Whenever I make a meal I am ever conscious about what I am putting into it and I know exactly how much I am eating. It is so much easier to stay on track when you know where you stand on how many calories you have consumed. If you have a light lunch, you can make up for it and dinner, or if you have overindulged early in the day, you can see quite easily that you need to rein it in over dinner.

5. What difficulties did you experience losing weight?

I haven't seen much in the way of difficulties on my journey. I know a lot of people are going to hate me for that, lol. I can attribute it to shear will power. I have been strict on myself, making sure I stay on track, because my life depended on it. At 351 lbs, I don't think I would have had too many more good years left so it was an easy decision, that cheeseburger meant nothing to me versus my family.

6. How long did it take you to see results? When did you realize that you were a success?

I never noticed it until others started saying how much better I was looking. That started happening after the first 30 lbs. Now, I look and feel like a completely different person. I get a rush when I pass those milestones. It started at 50 lbs, then 75 lbs. The big one was 100 lbs!!! Now, when I look at the total amount of weight that I have lost, it amazes me. Shock, would be how I would describe it in one word.

7. How do you prevent relapse?

It's simple. I keep a picture of my kids in my wallet. I am doing it for them, so that they will have their father around. It's also for me too, but I have always had a hard time doing something for myself. My kids are my life, so all I need to do is think about them and the urge to cheat passes. It just isn't worth it to me anymore. I have broken the spell that food has had over me. I have taken back control of my life...for good!

8. How has your life changed now that you've lost weight?

I have an insane amount of energy! I can keep going from the time I wake until I go to bed. I have found a level of self confidence and inner peace that I had never felt before. The process changes you, not the results.

9. How long have you maintained your current weight?

I am still losing, so that really doesn't apply to me, yet!

10. What five tips do you have for other dieters?

  • Buy a kitchen scale. It makes life so much easier when you are figuring out how many calories you consume!
  • Make you a priority.  If you don't have the time, make the time. You are the only one who can control what you do, so take charge.
  • Every morsel of food you eat, no matter how small or insignificant, must be logged.  Even if it's only 5 calories, they all count.  If you skip this step, it can sabotage even the best plans.
  • Get active!  Cardio is great to burning energy but to give your system a boost, mix in some strength training.  Muscle burns more calories than fat, so bulk up if you can.
  • Surround yourself by a great support system.  There will always be times where you feel down about a bad weigh in or tempted by the wrong choices.  A spouse, sibling, close friend, anyone who wants you to succeed as much as you do.

My final thoughts:  Everyone has heard if I can do it, so can you. It's so cliché. The fact is, it doesn't matter what the guy down the street did. Everyone is different, everybody's metabolism is different. Take the knowledge you get and apply it to you. Make the changes, and don't look back. It will be the best decision of your life. From me to all of you good luck on the future, congratulations on the past and keep working in the present.

 

 

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.



Comments


Awsome !! Very inspiring...



 Have you done any other workouts other than the elliptical?  Great job on the weight loss!



Congratulations on your success! Your story's inspiring and uplifting... and I hope you reach your goal as soon as you set it. :)


Way to go keep up the good work !!



Congrats on ur success!...well said!

And good luck on ur future ventures!



Fantastic!  You look great.  Thanks for sharing your story.  It really does help to read about others' successes.



I am blown away..and crying into my keyboard !   What a gift you are to your family.  My Dad had his first heart attack at 52.  I lost him 10 years later as he suffered ill health and many hospital stays.  The fact that I was on the same road of being overweight & lack of exercise woke me up.  I am a late bloomer and had my kids later in life.  I want to be around for them as well.

There is no replacement for a Dad.  As a woman, you get your first messages that you are beautiful.  Even if you have braces & zits..that does not stop a Dad from seeing the beauty in his daughter. This stays with a woman for her life time.  As for a son, he gets to know that everything will be alright, that he will manage in the world and be a great man one day himself.  These are priceless gifts.

Thank you for sharing your story.  It was generous of you and it was very inspiring. Good Health to You Always ~~~



Thank you. A big encouragement. My pharmacist friend once told me that I'm selfish if i will not take care of my body because I'll leave behind my children and wife if I continue to eat a lot. Now I'm really into this calorie count, exercise and lost already about 4 lbs. Long way to go though! Thank you calorie count!



Congrats man, I was in the same boat as you and just hit my goal of 190. I have lost a total of 125, logging everything is the key to success. Keep it up and you will get to your goal. Good luck and great job. Happy Counting.



First of all Congratualtions you look great!

Thank you so much for sharing your story, your 'final thoughts' really resonate because one of the things I am guilty of is comparing myself to others. SO I am going  to make a concentrated effort from now on to forget other peoples waistlines and concentrate on my own!! 

 



Congratulations!!! You look awesome.

 

Thanks for sharing. Your "Final Thought" is really inspiring as is your story...



Very encouraging every time I read one of these success stories. Well done and thanks for the time spent providing us with these encouraging words.



Awesome job!! You look great.  Your family should be very proud and happy to have you around for many years!  



Wonderful.. I have relapsed and have been out of control for months now.  This article was very! motivating... I just called a martial arts trainer and wrote a note to self to TAKE BACK CONTROL... congrats.. thank you



wow!  great job!  congratulations!  I am working on keeping off the same amount of weight loss.   Link to m blog in my profile!

 

Keep up the awesome work!

Chris



You are really a great inspiration!  You made your choice and you stuck with it, and the results show in your body, mind and spirit...you've done a great thing for yourself and your children, and you will reap the benefits for decades to come.  Good job!!  And much luck on the rest of your journey!



Cgvaters

  Thats awsome to hear see i started at 352 and i'm battling between 330-335 i can't get away from that zone i walk on my treadmill at 3.0 mph atleast 30 minutes a day 5 days aweek and i use my cross bow to do incline bench press and arm curls maybe you have some advice as to things i can change or do to help me with that? it gets very discourageing to not see the scale changeing week after week and the first time it went back up from 330 to 335 oh boy let me tell you i was upset my girlfriend said i was not being a nice person but i have the same reasons for some health reasons to lose the wieght and i am a pertty strong willed person i don't like to lose and this non movement of my scale is getting very furstrating. so if you have any other help points i would love to hear about them. and congrats and winning your battle.



@jpbk 4 pounds is a huge accomplishment. keep up the good work : )



Congrats Sir!  Thanks for sharing your story!  I hope to the same in a year or so, i'm about to hit the 60 lb mark...  1/3 or the way to my goal! 

Keep it up, your doing great, congrats again



Congrats!!!! That is amazing. You look fabulous and are frankly pretty HOT!!! Keep up the good work. Thank you for the motivation.



Congratulations! You've achieved so much, and your story is so inspiring. Being there for family is the best reason to switch to a healthy lifestyle. Keep it up, and good luck to you. :)



Good for you! Your comment about your energy level really resonates.



Inspiring success story. Thanks for sharing it with us.



I am inspired by your story!  What great attitude is exuded in your story!  Thanks and congrats on your success so far and good luck with that last little bit you have to go!  You will MAKE IT!



Amazing life transformation! Well done :) 



Congrats on you success and best wishes for your future! Very inspiring. Thanks for sharing!



Thanks to everyone for your warm words of encouragement.  I felt that I had to share my story with everyone.  There are times that each and every one of us has bad days, or feelings of doubt and despair.  For those moments, I read others success stories and it helped me through it, so I fell that it is the least I can do to try and pay it forward so that others can get the boost they need to find their inner strength and keep moving forward.  Again, thank you and good luck to all.  Remember, we are all in this together.  Feel free to reach out for help, support of just a listening post.



Original Post by: ambo1118

 Have you done any other workouts other than the elliptical?  Great job on the weight loss!


I have began training in taekwondo twice a week. other than that, not much, just more movement throughout the day, it doesn't always have to be 100% intensity, but every bit helps



Original Post by: lynch7776

Cgvaters

  Thats awsome to hear see i started at 352 and i'm battling between 330-335 i can't get away from that zone i walk on my treadmill at 3.0 mph atleast 30 minutes a day 5 days aweek and i use my cross bow to do incline bench press and arm curls maybe you have some advice as to things i can change or do to help me with that? it gets very discourageing to not see the scale changeing week after week and the first time it went back up from 330 to 335 oh boy let me tell you i was upset my girlfriend said i was not being a nice person but i have the same reasons for some health reasons to lose the wieght and i am a pertty strong willed person i don't like to lose and this non movement of my scale is getting very furstrating. so if you have any other help points i would love to hear about them. and congrats and winning your battle.


Hey, congrats on losing the weight so far.  Remember that every single pound makes a difference.  I found that even when I went through a couple weeks of not much exercise, being so big actually helped, cause you need soo many calories to maintain the weight. at 330 lbs, you can still lose weight if you keep your eating habits in check.   Try not to let the scale get under your skin, so to speak.  Take each day as a new challange, on what more can you do and how to do it better!  I do and always will swear by the taekwondo training in knocking off the first 50 lbs on its own.  Our class is 90 minutes long and by the time it was over, I could mop the floor with my uniform (I know, it's gross, but hey, it worked, lol).  There is nothing like a good long intense workout and taekwondo fo me anyways was a great outlet.  I thoroughly enjoyed beating the stuffing out of the pads.  You get out all the frustrations of your day in a healthly way, instead of emotional eating or some other sabotage to your health.  Feel free to send me a private message to talk more if you like, as with everyone here, I am more than happy to offer any advise I can or whatnot.



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The process changes you, not the results

Wonderfully said!

Thank you for your story. A great encouragement for us all.



"...that cheeseburger meant nothing to me versus my family."

     I love this attitude and your long-reaching perspective! This statement is really motivational in that it helps me think of the most important things, like long-term health and time with family, instead of silly cravings. 

     Thanks for your enlightening story!



Outstanding job! 



Congratulations!Smile



Thank you for sharing your story.  I agree with your closing statement.....everyone is not the same and we all have different metabolisims.  I am 4'11" and would keep pace (eating wise) with my 6'2" husband.  I was a round butterball.  BUT, I have found stories such as yours to motivate me to learn about my body and what it needs to be at a healthy weight.  Congratulations to you and good luck on your last 30+ lbs!



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Thanks...I am at the beginning of this circle and our stories are so similar, I hope I can have some success.



Thank you so much for your story.  I am onto day 2 of finding caloriecount!  I am now finally coming to the realization that I need to change -look at food differently and put me first so I can lose 140# to my ideal weight.  I will soon be a parent... a foster mom.  And even though I don't have the child with me yet, they are a modivator for me to be the best I can be for them. 



Wow, you've just inspired me. I lost 60 lbs before I met my bf but after I got pregnant with our daugther I gained it all back plus some. I want to get healthy for her. I have to. Thanks for sharing your story!



This is so encouraging to me. Sometimes i think someone has got to go on the Biggest Loser or get stomach surgery to lose a lot of weight but I am learning that this is just not the case. My family has also inspired me to lose weight and I have a lot of weight to lose. Like 143 pds to be exact and sometimes that amount is so discouraging and I want to give up but you have just inspired me to keep pursuing this task. I have lost the 1st 10pds I am hoping the other 133 will be lost too. Thanks so much for sharing your story!



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go away. very inappropriate for this site. beat it.



The "go away" comment was directed to the woman promoting her sales site. Hit the wrong button and this turned up as a comment on a great story!! 

Mr. Cgvaters, thank you for your extremely helpful and informative story. It's great to know that a real winner like you struggled with some of the same unhelpful behaviors that I'm working on now.

THANK YOU and CONGRATS to you and your lucky family.



Hard work pays off! Good job!

I think I should get a kitchen scale too!



Wow! I can only repeat what others have said, you're story is inspirational, encouraging and shows selfless commitment to your family.  Good health to you and yours!



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