Running Circles Around My Former Self
Ellektra is not a stranger to losing weight. Having been overweight for her entire life, she has previously lost 140lbs simply by counting calories and exercising. Then in 2010 she quit smoking and slowly realized her weight was creeping back up. She joined Calorie Count and has successfully lost those remaining 51 lbs.
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?
I really started my weight lose in about 2003 when I weighed an astounding 335 pounds. I was overweight my entire life, for as long as I can remember. I decided enough was enough and worked really hard for 2 years and lost most of my weight then, before Calorie Count, but in much of the same way, diet and exercise. I got down to 245 and then it took me 2 more years to get down to about 210. I quit smoking April 2010 and was at 195. I gained 10 pounds and got really scared, that's when I found Calorie Count, which has forever changed my life.
2. What other "diets" (programs, products, plans, or services) had you tried in the past?
Prior to 2003, I yo-yoed a lot with my weight in between having children. As I said before, I was overweight most of my life and lost a lot of weight before having my first child. I gained it back and then lost it again before my second child, when I gained it all back again, plus some. I never went on any 'fad' diets; it was always just diet and exercise.
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 lost this weight by FINALLY, after 40 years, taking control of my addiction with food. I stopped eating cookies every day, and started eating fruit. I started running, which I had never done in my entire life. I joined a gym and found I actually enjoy exercise. I didn't cut out any certain foods, just started eating healthier, but allowing myself to have those 'cheats' once in awhile.
4. Please describe how Calorie Count was instrumental to your weight loss.
Not to be too dramatic, but Calorie Count completely saved me! It educated me on every type of food and the nutrition of it. Because of CC, I feel better and I'm healthier at 43 then I have ever been in my entire life. CC helped me to realize that you CAN eat, just stay within your calorie range.
5. What difficulties did you experience losing weight?
Since I started Calorie Count, I haven't really had many difficulties. Maybe just dealing with the plateaus and having to educate myself when my weight would fluctuate from time to time.
6. How long did it take you to see results? When did you realize that you were a success?
It was just over a month in. After losing the first 15 pounds and my 'tight' jeans started to get baggy and my friends and family started noticing and commenting on the way I look. My biggest success was when I actually ran 5K for the first time!
7. How do you prevent relapse?
By continuing to live the way I have in the last year. Even though I am now maintaining, I still count every calorie I eat and still exercise 5 times a week. It's very important to realize this is a LIFE change, and not just while you lose the weight. I KNOW that I am going to have to count calories and be physically active for the rest of my life, and I am OKAY with that!
8. How has your life changed now that you've lost weight?
Oh, where do I start? First and foremost, I feel so good! At 43, I have more energy and could completely run circles around my former self. I love getting up and getting dressed every morning and I love looking at myself in the mirror. I no longer have to head to the 'big gals' pricey clothes section. I don't have to put back 8 of the 10 items of clothing I have picked out because they looked so much better on the hanger, in fact I rarely try clothes on any more before I get home. AND my size 12 foot is now a size 10/11, so I can buy shoes at normal shops!
9. How long have you maintained your current weight?
For about 4 months now. I really thought it was going to be hard, and I am still figuring it all out on just what I can and can't do, but it's getting easier and easier. It's nice to be able to go out to dinner with my husband and know if I put an extra bit of effort into my week, I will be fine.
10. What five tips do you have for other dieters?
I wish I could pinpoint what triggered this change in me so I could bottle it up and share it with others who struggle, but I can't. Something just finally took hold. I guess you just have to want it bad enough, I mean REALLY want it. Once that happens, and you start feeling like a 'new and improved' you, it just gets easier and easier. My five tips could be the normal drink loads of water, take a vitamin every day, exercise, but instead I will say:
- Do NOT cheat yourself. It will hurt no one but you. If you eat a piece of chocolate, count it! Count every calorie you put in your mouth!
- Same goes for exercise, if you did 30 minutes of cardio, don't log 45 just because it puts your calories burned where they need to be.
- Mix your exercise routine up. If you do the same thing over and over, you WILL get bored and that usually is why people stop doing it. Keep it interesting by taking a zumba or spinning class once a week.
- Read, read, and read some more. Educate yourself and use the internet! It truly is a world of information at your fingertips. If you have a doubt/question/concern, you'll find the answer and you will learn you are not alone in this struggle.
- This is the most important thing to remember. Do NOT do this for your husband, or the cruise you are getting ready to take, or that pair of jeans you want to fit into again. Do it for only one reason: YOU! You are the only one that matters when it comes to your health and well being. The people in your life will benefit, and that will just add an extra bonus to the way you feel for doing this for you. You CAN do this! Honestly. I spent my first 40+ years of life living with food controlling me, so if I can do it, I do believe anyone can!
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.
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