200 Pounds Gone! Another Member's Success Story
This week we would like to introduce to you juice4155, who lost 200 pounds and managed to turn around his health and overall life. He is determined to make this weight loss a permanent one and has become a Certified Personal Trainer. We asked him to tell us his story and answer the following questions:
1. What made you decide to lose weight this time? Did you have an "Ah Ha!' moment?
There were a lot of factors that helped me lose weight and change my life. I was 26 years and weighed 451 lbs, I was tired of being looked at because of my size. I wasn't able to wear a seat belt or be able to live a normal life. I would have to wait for tables at restaurants, because I couldn't fit into a booth and I also couldn't go up a flight of stairs without being out of breath. I had to special order my pants because my waist was so big, 70 inches to be exact. I told myself that I didn't want to be a sideline dad or a dad that embarrassed his kids because of his size.
My "Ah Ha!" moment came, while I was watching the 2nd season of The Biggest Loser. Watching Matt and Dr. Jeff, made me realize if they could lose the weight and get healthy, I could too. I'm an ex-athlete like Matt and Dr. Jeff was twice my age. There are two other events that made me think it was time to lose weight. I was at a movie theater and the seat fell out of the brackets because I was so overweight that I pushed the arms out too far. It was embarrassing to go and explain it to the manager and ask for a refund. Not only that but, the company I work for had to order me a special chair. It was time I lost the weight and got healthy.
2. What other "diets" (programs, products, plans, or services) had you tried in the past?
Once I went for a consultation with Slim 4 Life, but other than that I'd never tried any "diets" before.
3. What changes did you make to your usual diet, activity, lifestyle, and attitude? What was the most important change?
I changed everything. I took one step at a time, I didn't want to get overwhelmed with the whole thing. My first step was finding a fitness center and someone to work with me. I was lucky enough to have a gym right down the street from my job. I did that for a couple of months, making sure I was going to stick with it and enjoy it. Second step was changing my food choices and calorie consumption. I reduced my caloric consumption to 1800 calories a day. I also paid close attention to what type of foods I was eating. I made sure they where foods that fuel your body, not hinder it. My meals where well balanced, I made sure there was a healthy carb and protein with every meal. Once those two things started to click, it was time to change the attitude. I picked up Jillian Michael's book Winning by Losing, and The Biggest Loser books for inspiration and motivation. Being that big wasn't healthy and I was killing myself. I knew I was doing this to save my life.
4. How did Calorie Count help you to lose weight?
I mainly used Calorie Count for calorie information on foods. I would wear a heart monitor to record my calories burned. Even though I've lost 200 lbs I still use Calorie Count for the calorie information of foods at restaurants. I did use some of the social features, but not that often.
5. What was most challenging about losing weight?
Taking it one step at a time and making gradual changes made losing the weight easy. It's keeping it off, that's going to be the real challenge. I've had to change a lifetime of bad eating habits. Even when I was an athlete I would eat whatever I wanted, the coaches wanted you to be big for football. I didn't care about my weight or what I ate.
6. How long did it take you to see results?
I started seeing results in the first 3 months. I dropped 30 lbs in the first 90 days. I lost my first 100 lbs by May of 2006. The next 100 lbs took a little longer. Once you get closer to your ideal body weight, the excess weight comes off a lot slower.
7. When did you realize that you were a success?
I realized I was a success, when my co-workers, trainers and members at the gym started to notice my body changing. One of the trainers asked how I was doing it, they had never seen weight loss like mine before.
8. How do you prevent relapse?
Relapse isn't an option... I will never go back to the way I was. I have goals and rewards that I allow myself. One day a week is my free day, I can eat whatever I want. The rest of the week I eat low calorie and make healthy choices when I eat out. I also go to the gym 3-5 times a week, I change up the routines so I don't get bored. If you don't put steps in place to prevent a relapse, you're setting yourself up for failure. There are no excuses for a relapse. I care more about myself and I enjoy my life more now than I ever have. Does it scare me that I may relapse, of course it does. I have set a maximum weight for myself and I will never go over it.
9. How has your life changed now that you've lost weight?
Now I can do all the things I couldn't do before. I can wear my seat belt without an extension, sit in a booth at a restaurant, run up and down a flight of stairs, buy pants off the shelf from a normal size clothing store, sit comfortably in a movie seat and not worrying about it breaking from underneath me and I have a regular chair at work. The most important change is the pride that I have in myself. Taking control of my life and my habits has instilled a sense of pride that I never knew I had. I have become a Certified Personal Trainer to help people that are in the same situation that I was in. I never thought in a million years that I would be doing that.
10. What five tips do you have for other dieters?
- Take it slow, conquering one change at a time is much easier than trying to do it all at once.
- Find a fitness center that you are going to enjoy working out at. There's nothing worse that joining a gym and never going. Find a place that is welcoming and the staff is friendly.
- Keep it simple... This isn't rocket science, folks. There's no reason to make it harder that it needs to be. It's as simple as this; Burn more calories that you are consuming.
- Set goals for yourself. When setting those goals, go for broke. Set an ultimate goal and then break it down from there into monthly, weekly and even daily goals. Be sure to reward yourself for reaching those goals. I used various things like; getting rid of the glasses and getting contacts, new shoes and of course new clothes. Those are the most fun rewards to get.... because you're going to need new clothes.
- I saved the best for last... Support systems and support. Find someone or several people that have faith in you and care for you, in your current state. Tell them what you are doing and ask for their help. I relied on my family. All of us have battle with weight our entire lives. They knew how important it was for me to lose the weight and get healthy. They actually tell me now that they were worried about me weighing 451 lbs.
Have you achieved success with Calorie Count for weight loss and better health? Share your tips, challenges and inspiration.