Stronger Than I've Ever Been
Viewing her weight loss journey as a change in lifestyle rather than a diet has helped Jaefuma lose over 140lbs. By using Calorie Count, she found new ways to control her calorie intake and learn more about nutrition. She now really enjoys leaning on her CC friends for support.
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? Did you have an "Aha!" moment?
I've always struggled with my weight as long as I can remember. My "Aha!" moment was in my freshmen year, I realized that in a year or two, I'd be going to Japan. I'm already tall, but I knew it was going to be a bad experience to be tall and fat in a country so known for being so small. Also, after taking a good look at myself and what I had become, I felt stupid, fat, and disgusting for letting food affect me so much. I was upset because I looked the way I did (and still do) because of food. I just couldn't let it control me anymore. A week or two later, I found this site, a few weeks after that, I finally weighed myself. After picking myself out of my well of self pity, I wiped away my tears and got to work. Haven't looked back since.
2. What other "diets" (programs, products, plans, or services) had you tried in the past?
I tried Weight Watchers, the "5 Day Diet," and the Liquid Diet.
3. What changes did you make to your usual diet, activity, lifestyle, and attitude?
I decided to make lifestyle changes instead of just looking for a diet. I wanted this to last forever, and I didn't want to have to start over once the diet was done. I made exercise a must, and I also took a good look at the food I was eating, and stopped feeling guilty when I made mistakes.
4. How did Calorie Count help you to lose weight?
I could count calories! It's was a lot less intimidating to be able to just say, "stay under this number" when starting out. Then I could tweak it as needed. And I love the Community. There's always someone out there to lend a hand.
5. What was most challenging about losing weight?
How long it takes. We're in a world that has magazines littered with "Lose # pounds in # days!" It was really hard for me to take my weight loss slowing down, and plateaus. Pushing through all that was (and is) very hard for me.
6. How long did it take you to see results?
I started losing weight as soon as I started because I was so large. I personally didn't notice anything until recently, because that's when I started picking new clothes.
7. When did you realize that you were a success?
Well, it's right before my trip to Japan, and I realized I was a success when I could sit around my peers and not stick out as that "fat girl" and because I was proud of myself for something other than my weight loss. I know I have more to go, but I'm stronger than I've ever been, and I can do so much more. I know more about nutrition, and I'm proud of myself for what I've done.
8. How do you prevent relapse?
I don't start the cycle of food guilt. I go out with friends from time to time, I eat pizza, and I eat chocolate. By doing this doesn't mean I've failed. I just start again at the next meal.
9. How has your life changed now that you've lost weight?
Well, I can't hide anymore. Not being able to do something or being "unpopular" can't be linked to my weight (as much anyway). I've taken responsibility for myself and I'm more accountable for my actions. I still know how far I have to go, but how far I've gone keeps me moving forward. Plus, I can go into stores and not feel like such an outsider.
10. What five tips do you have for other dieters?
- Don't overwhelm yourself. Take it one day at a time, one change at a time. No one changes 100% overnight.
- Don't stop trying. Weight is a fickle beast. It can stop and stall, go up and down, but don't let that be your reason for stopping. It'll be worth it in the end.
- Do not make yourself feel guilty for wanting food or eating food. Good food still exists. It's okay to eat it and it doesn't mean you're a bad person for doing so. You can always start again with the next meal. And don't punish yourself for it!
- Making exercise a must. Find something you like, but get out there and move. It helps with more than just weight loss.
- Have fun with yourself now. Everyone puts things off for "when they lose weight," but you'll be making yourself miserable. Live everyday you have to the fullest.
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.