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Calorie Count Blog

100+ Pounds Lost - One Member's Weight Loss Success Story

By Igor on Mar 10, 2009 01:00 PM in Success Stories

Many of our members have managed to lose a lot of weight and significantly improve their health. Their stories are inspirational and show us that it's never too late to turn around your life and reclaim your old self-esteem, confidence, and happiness. One of those members is laurabow, who agreed to answer a few of our questions and share with us how she managed to lose over 100 pounds.

1. What made you decide to lose weight this time? 

I have never been "small" before in my life, but over the years I was putting on a lot of weight and started yo-yo dieting. My health was beginning to suffer (I was diagnosed with PCOS, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure), and I felt I was wasting my early twenties. I had really low self-esteem and was becoming depressed. I switched jobs from working in a bar to an office job, and was shocked when I had to buy size 28 trousers! All these things made me lose weight.

2. What other diets have you tried in the past?

You name it, I've tried it! Weight Watchers (about 5 times!), Slimming World, Slim Fast, herbal diet pills, prescription diet pills, Cabbage Soup Diet, Watercress Soup Diet, Atkins Diet, Low GI Diet, "celebrity diets," diets in magazines, 1000-Calories-a-Day diet... the list is endless!

3. What changes did you make to your usual diet, activity, lifestyle and attitude?

While working in a bar I used to eat lots of junk food and late night take-aways like fried chicken and pizza. I also used to drink a lot of cider (sometimes 10+ pints in one sitting). Those were the first things I gave up. I then started eating regular meals throughout the day, rather than scoffing all my calories in 1 huge meal. I started drinking more water, ate lots of vegetables, lean meat and fish, and substituted brands and products for the lowest fat varieties. I cut down on starchy white carbs (bread, potatoes, rice and pasta) without giving them up. Once I'd lost about 30 pounds, I found it easier to exercise and started doing home workout DVDs, along with crunches and small weights. When I got down to around 245, I finally got the confidence to join the gym and go swimming. 

4. How did Calorie Count help you lose weight?

I stumbled across CC while searching online for the calories in my meal. I joined and used it primarily to search and record the calories in my food. I then discovered the groups and forums, which are just amazing! You can meet so many like-minded people who share the same struggles. If it wasn't for the support, kindness and motivation from other people on CC, I'm not sure I could have come this far. There's nothing like having a good rant on your journal to get things off your chest!

5. What was most challenging about losing weight?

I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome which makes you gain weight due to the hormonal imbalances. It is so hard at times trying to lose weight when your body thinks it should be gaining! I have also had some long long plateaus (up to 3 months), where it seems absolutely impossible to shift any weight. Also, the more weight you lose the harder and slower the losses become - which can get very frustrating.

6. How Long did it take you to see results?

I was very annoyed when I first started losing, as although the scales and numbers were moving - I couldn't see any difference in the mirror. I started to notice after 24 pounds. I had gone down a dress size and cup size, and had lost a few inches. Very close friends and family noticed the early losses more, whereas people who I didn't see regularly, acquaintances and work colleagues didn't comment until I'd lost a significant amount (55+ pounds).

7. When did you realize that you were a success? 

I realized that I was successful when I reached my 100 pound loss. That was a major goal which I was never confident I would reach. I feel successful every time I go into a regular (non plus size) shop and try on clothes that fit! Or beat my records in running/in the gym. 

8. How do you prevent relapse?

The main way I prevent relapse is to allow myself "cheat days" and regular treats. Without these I would totally fall off the wagon and end up stuffing my face as I had done so many times in the past. I also keep pictures of myself at my largest, and an old size 28 pair of jeans to remind myself of how far I've come. I still get days when I am frustrated and it seems I have a long way to go but I put on the jeans (which can now fit two of me in) and it makes me feel better. 

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

  • I have more self confidence, I still have issues and it will take a long time to get out of the "bubbly fat friend" mentality but it is definitely a LOT more improved.
  • I can sit on chairs without fear of breaking them!
  • I can fit in aircraft seating!
  • My fitness is so much improved I can walk miles without getting tired, run up and down stairs etc.
  • I no longer have sore knees. I used to suffer terribly with osteoarthritis caused by being obese.
  • I can wear nice clothes that I want to wear rather than buying clothes from plus size stores because that is all I can fit into.
  • My thighs no longer chafe!
  • I don't have to spend a fortune on larger bras.
  • My health is generally all round much improved. I have a normal blood pressure, I do not have the risk of diabetes anymore, my joint pain is gone.
  • I have a much higher chance of being able to conceive now I weigh less, should I wish to have children in the future.

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

  1. Use CC! Make use of the support around you available in the forums, groups and journals.
  2. Allow yourself treats and "cheat days." It sounds like a contradiction, but you need these to stay on track.
  3. Avoid buying ready made or processed foods, which contain lots of hidden nasties (sodium, sugar, fats, colorings, additives) - make your own sauces, dips, dressings, etc. from low fat ingredients in bulk. A lot of these will keep in jars or can be frozen.
  4. Pile your plate with vegetables and salads! Just because you are dieting doesn't mean you should be hungry. Fill up on plenty of low cal, low fat sides.
  5. Take supplements! I cannot stress this enough. Although you may think you are getting a balanced diet, prolonged dieting and weight loss can lead to deficiencies in important vitamins and minerals.

Have you achieved success with Calorie Count for weight loss and better health?  Share your tips, challenges and inspiration.


Thank You so much for sharing your story and advice.  I sent the link to this story to my sister.  We both started our health plans with 100 or more pounds to lose.  I started getting really serious about weight loss and health improvement when my triglycerides hit 600 and my cholesterol hit 270 last July. I turned 60 in November and weight has been a struggle for me since I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 1990 and I stopped running 5 miles a day.  Since July I've lost 56 pounds at a rate of about 2 pounds a week.  I went down your list of how you have achieved your success and it is an exact match to mine including all of the failed attempts in the first paragraph - only you missed the South Beach Diet which also worked for me until I stopped following it and gained all the weight back.  

I also agree with you about the "cheat days and treats" - I have my box of Girl Scout cookies while I dole out to myself at the rate of two a day - it's OK as long as I work them off on the treadmill or keep them within my calorie budget!

I am somewhat limited in the types of exercise I can do without extensive pain so I stick to 3 miles on my treadmill and about 10 miles on a recumbent exercise bike a day.  if I don't exercise, I don't lose!  Thanks again for sharing your experience and congratulations on your success!  Karen

Hiya, I loved reading your story.  Congrats to you on your weight loss.  I have lost 60 pounds and am stuck... I need to lose more but my body doesn't want to ... lol.  Your story inspired me to try harder and to keep going.  I completely agree with you on your cheat days, I do the same thing .. it has helped so much.

Thank you

Angie :)

I am so happy for your successess. Congratulations!! I have lost 30 pounds in 2 months, but that is great!!!!I still want to lose about 30 more. I am also fighting high blood pressure, high triglycerides and pre-diabetes. I just went for a 2 month check up, so I will see in a few days how my new number look. I am hopeful, I have definately changed my eating habits. Less saturated fat, more good fats, less carbs, more veggies and trying to work out more, which is easier after losing some weight. I try not to cheat too much, I find that with eating better and exercising I don't crave all the sweets that I used to. But I am also not depriving myself of the foods that I love, because that can lead to diet disaster.

Congratulations! That is amazing! I have been struggling with weight pretty much my whole life. Either I was slightly overweight or people assumed I was anorexic bc I was so thin (I never had a eating metabolism shifts dramatically at times).

Thank you for posting your story. I am giving myself this whole year to drop 30 pounds so that I don't starve myself and make this new lifestyle perminant.  Good types on the dressings and condiments. I'll have to add those to my routine.

Well, so far I lost 8 pounds of my 30, so wish me luck on the rest!


BTW..."cheat days" or just plain allowing yourself food, is TOTALLY the way to go!  If I told myself I couldn't eat this food or that food ever again, I'd never make it!


Sorry, I meant "good TIPS on teh dressing..."


Great job! It took me forever to get over the part with fad diets, magic weight lost pills ( only magic was how it made my money disapear) Did the same thing ( I have grown long ears and a bushy tail) eatting lots and lots of veg and cutting out processed foods along with a good intake of calcium ( wow did that make a diffrence!) Water water water and now I am right behind you at almost 90lbs gone! YEAH! I know everything you say is true, been there done that. Keep it up! I can't wait untill my 100lb loss I hope I really notice it then even though my friends do.

Best wishes and good eatting.



Oh and by the way a great dressing is non fat sour cream and salsa!

It's amazing - how a little weight can change the way we feel about ourselves and our outlook on life.  Keep up the good work, because it is work, for all of us that struggle with weight we know how it feels.  Stay on track for a healthier you!!!!

Laughing Well done! I have yet to get into a consistent diet routine, and exercise is not even in the picture. I had some surgeries recently: gall bladder and knee. Now that the knee is getting better and the weather getting warmer, I hope to get out for some walks . . . to ease myself into daily exercise. I am always grateful for the reminder that we can eat lots of veggies. I'm not a great veggie lover, but there are some I like; and I know I need them for good nutrition and fat control. I bought some peppers, green beans, avocadoes, and mushrooms. Already have carrots and celery. So, tonight I will cut them up and have them ready to go for tomorrow.

Again, congratulations on your success!


KissWOW !!! Thanks for sharing your story with us...very inspiring.  I am sure it has been a long road for you to travel,with many hills and turns. I bet you are finding fun in many things that you couldn't before. Have fun shopping.

This was truly inspiring! Thank you....

I absolutely loved reading your story it was more than inspirational. I joined this site a while ago but haven't really done anything with it so far. and my diet.. well it hasn't been going well. But i'm so glad that i read this. I've struggled with weight forever and have never lost so much as a pound in a healthy way. so i'm really struggling to do so now. Your story totally inspired me.

thank you. and good luck losing the rest of the weight

May you all lose the weight that you desire to lose and be happy.

I'm on this journey with you all my brothers and sisters.


I have been overweight since 5 years of age & with the exception of 1 year when I met my husband, I have always been overweight to obese - was always made fun of. 

In the last 12 years I have been unable to lose more than 2kg (about 4 pound I think). I just can't get passed the first 2 weeks - now that I have found you, I feel this is it....

I wonder what it feels like to feel good about yourself. I wonder what it is like to wear nice clothes. I wonder what is like to get attention from the opposite sex (my husband and I were friends - he was physically attracted to my best friend and not me because of my weight issues)

If you have lost weight and can share with me how this feels, I'd love you to email me at - it would be very motivating.

Hi everyone, This is my first blog. I too have stuggled all my life with my weight. I recently join calorie count.  Congrats on your weight loss. I have 100 plus pounds to lose. Reading your story has helped me realize that I too can be sucessful.  Thanks bgzapper1

It's really encouraging to read about your success! :) Thanks for sharing!!!

I've always been a bit on the heavy side and finally got sick of it... I'm taking it slowly and trying to make healthier choices.  I've lost 5.5 lbs since Jan!  Not a huge amount, but it's encouraging to me!  Even on days I completely gave in and didn't keep track of anything or eat healthy, I haven't given up like usual.  I take the next day as a new day and tell myself that I can do this...  I've been exercising (at home) 4-6 days a week.   I hope I can stick with it and make life changes rather than failing and reverting back to old habits again!

OH my goodness! Thank you so much for posting this. This has really inspired me. I went to the doctore a couple of weeks ago b/c me and significant other are trying to conceive. I thought that I was pregnant and come to find out I wasnt. Then the doctor gave me some very shocking new. Now, I know that I have always been over weight but I have been avoiding scales for so long that I just really didnt think of what my weight could be. I was 318lbs. The biggest I have ever been in my life. She told me that she was fearful for my life. I had high blood pressure (ME I am only 25) and so many other health issues that I have been facing. She told me it would be harder for me to conceive b/c i am overweight and it could be dangerous for me.

I was crushed. I just couldnt believe that I let myself go so long like this. So i instantly decieded that I would start anew. I have been going strong for almost two weeks now. I havent seen a dramtic change but I am working so hard.

I am counting calories. Working out alot more. I just pray that I can loose this weight. I am so determined and reading your story gave me a super boost. Thank you and I ask you all to pray for me on this journey to a healthier me

Wow! Thank you all so much for your nice comments!

There are so many similar stories to mine on here but EVERYONE can do it! It just takes time, patience and willpower- and the ability to forgive yourself and get back on the horse when mistakes are made.

Everyone keep up the fantastic work, I will be more than happy to answer any questions/ randomly chat if you add me :o)

wow that was or is a great success story ...keep it up... and i thank CC for being such a big in india many of my freinds are fat(85kgs and above ) and who could do with a great deal of weight loss aren't motivated enough....what a pity... the world could do with people like you. my weight is just 62kgs and i dont really need to lode weight but your story will really helps to keep mr fit.

Congrats on your success (and that of all who have replied to your blog)

You are very pretty, by the way.

I joined CC a year or so ago to lose twenty pounds, achieved my goal and am now maintaining. Regardless the pounds one wants to lose, each issue is important to that poster.

I cannot imagine how your life has changed losing a hundred!

Keep it up, stay the course. I have a relative who needs to lose weight but says that losing a couple pounds a week wouldn't even show. She said that over a year ago and could now be at least a hundred pounds lighter.

(I liked the sourcream/salsa tip. I always use salsa for salad dressing or as "spaghetti sauce" or to top a baked potato. Low cal and healthy.

Another tip, the chocolate animal crackers are yummy. No cholesterol, no trans fat only 100 calories for 13 crackers or so. Give them a try, dip them in fat free Cool Whip for fun.


I read your piece, and got teary eyed!  I am at the beginning of my weight loss journey and I found your story very inspirational.  Thank you very much for sharing your story!

Thanks for the great story! It sounded similar to mine in trying again and again to lose weight. I am trying again this time with CC. I went and got a bicycle a month ago and have enjoyed getting back some stamina from riding everyday but haven't lost any pounds. Guess I have to change the eating too!

But thanks for the story. It helps to know there are other people in the same boat as you.


thanks for the salad dressing tip... I normally hate the low fat dressings, but that one with the no fat sour cream and salsa sounds like something that I could tolerate. your story and must say it's very inspiring...congratulations on your success!!!!!

I too am 60+. i have been on every diet known to man kind since I was 24. I am now over 100 lbs over weight and just finished gaining 15 lbs after working with a trainer for a year. I am fed up with food. I can't get it right. I have dieted off hundreds of pounds only to go higher. I am compromising my health, relationships and more. I don't know if I can fight with food nymore.

wow i just loved your success story, i hope i can be a success story as well becasue im just 17 years old and weight about 265. I've always been chubby and have tried dieting before ,but it never worked. I feel that with my last year of high scool coming up i should finally lose the weight. I want to say thanks becasue your story has motivated me and has given me hope, so thank you very much.

I think what you have accomplished is absolutely awesome!!!  I do the same thing this time...I am allowing me a cheat day...that helps so much.  I am not depriving myself all the time...I know I have a day in the week when I can eat.  I just started March 5th at 185 and I must say (because I am so happy) that I am 177 March 19th....Only 42 pounds to go...

Thanks for sharing your helps very much.  Actually this site helps I accidently found and love has really helped.

Thank you for your story.  I just joined today and although I am sitting here fighting off the tears I am really, really determined to make this time be the last time.  I think for me it all boils down to feeling lesser than, lesser than everything and everyone.  I am so grateful I found this site.


I loved your story...truly inspiring! Im just wondering how long did it take you to lose this weight?!...


WOW!! You Rock!!

How did you lose 30lbs in such a short amount of time??

Well, just started today at 250.  I wish me luck.  Maybe this will be more successful than all the other diets/tracking techniques I've tried over the years.

it has taken quite a long time- 120 pounds in 2 years. I have 30 left to go, and It is taking a looooooong time.... My goal was to get there by my 26th birthday and I'm sure I will. It's just hard not to be impatient :o)

Thank you again for so many nice comments.

Thank you so much for your story.  I am so moved by you and inspired that just maybe I can do this too.  I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis and told I needed a hip replacement just 2 mos ago and I'm in my 40s!!!!!  I always prided myself on walking faster and sitting on the floor to prove to people that the "fat girl" wasn't held back by her weight.  Then just one month after being told I need a hip replacement, I awoke with a nose bleed that sent me straight to the ER in my pajamas and learned that I had stroke-level hypertension.  I am now faced with the reality that losing at least 100 pounds will turn my life back around.  Do you have any before and after pics?  Thanks again for your story. 

Wow... you are trully inspirational.. I'm 32, treated for complex hyperpasia with atypia  and now diagnosed with PCOS... i already had my gallbladder taken out and i'm at 270 lbs at 5ft... i just got married over a year ago and really wanted to have a baby before time runs out but my weight is not letting me do that... family and friends have been hounding me to lose the weight since it's a sad shame to have a pretty face on top of a fat body...but i just normally shrug it off and tell them it doesn't bother me.... but sadly, it does bother me especially when i can hardly put on my underwear on my own... putting on socks is too difficult already! i have an adoring husband who does everything for me.. cook, clean house and even the laundry... i just have to sit all day like a princess... does that make me happy? no... it makes feel like a useless, ugly blob -  since i don't LOOK LIKE a princess...

your story and success is such a wonderful inspiration.. i just hope you can share to me what you did and how you did it... i need all the help i can get before it's too late... it's so different here in the Philippines.. everybody's small and petite.. i don't fit anymore.. figuratively and literally... please help :)    my email is



         Thank you for sharing your story it help people like myself realize that if I can just stick with it with my goal plan than I can  achieve   it. Hang in there and don't ever be embarrassed look how far you have come. Hold your head up high. Thank you!! YOU HAVE COME ALONG WAY BABBY having all those obsticals in your way. You have done GREAT!!!! DAC 250

Your story is so inspiring.  I have been off and on many, many diets and nothing seems to work for me - unless I get disgusted and quit - I have done this many times as well.  I started a diet on Oct, 08 and have lost 23 lbs. but the last month or so, I have come to a standstill with the weight loss and have gained back 2 pounds.  I don't know why.  This is such a downer.  During this plateau, I have lost a few inches but not much.  I don't know what I am doing wrong.  I am so confused.  I don't even know what calorie limit to stay in anymore and when I exercise I understand that the calories I expend on exercise should be added back to the calorie allotment which doesn't make any sense to me.  If you exercise to help you lose weight then why add them back.  What I need is a program where I don't have to wonder if I am doing the right thing to lose weight.  

       Ok I understand what you are saying, this happens. Don"t go bananas it will b ok. This is going to sound not logical but take 1 day and don't overeat but eat alittle more than you are allowed for that day. his will shock your cylcle mode and it will shock your metabolism back to working like it was before.I told you this would sound strange, but when we diet for along perod of time our bodies get use to the same oh same oh so it has to have a change My coach says it is kinda like playing a trick on your body, I went just today and talked to another trainner cause I am having the same problem and it has been driving me crazy also, so join me and lets shock our systems. Just for 2 days no more. Than go back to the ammount of calories you are to have per day. You don't add the calories you loss during excercise to the amount you eat per day, you only keep track of those calories that you were assigned. Like my calorie intake is 1200 a day so I do my excercise and say during that workout I burn 1,ooocalories I don't go  and add that back on to my 1200. Your on track and everything is going to be ok, I hope cause we are together on this, my scale is stuck too and yes I am down right discusted,but I remember this happening to me before sinece we are talking about this and I had to do the same thing. HEY! all is on the up and have lost 23lbs, i have lost 25 and guess what we started just about at the same time.your in the right place.And all is going to be OK!!Dac250

congratulations on your success and good job, i think sticking with it and  keeping track of everything you eat is helping alot, i too am just starting again, i have had gastric bypass in 2002  and the weight is slowly creeping back on  i have put on 25lbs since i quit working out in nov 2008  and was already struggling with 20 lbs i had put on since surgery and im scared, i do love this site and i am glad i have found it, feel free to email me with your comments esp if you are a former gastric bypass pt , i would love to hear how you are doing,,, , thanks again for your site and keep up the good work....

I was diagnosed with PCOS last summer and it was devastating for me. All I have ever wanted since I was a little kid was so get married and be a mom. I know that my weight effects this diagnosis very much and just knowing that you could do it, gives me the inspiration to try even harder to lose the weight. Thank you so SO much.

Good for you I have just started the CC.i need to lose around 100 as well do you have any tips that might help me along the way Smile

i just joined and came across your story. amazing!!

keep up the good work i'm trying to lose 40 pounds and joined this site to keep motivated and reading your story just motivated me even more!!Smile


fatigue hey! I have never had a bypass not saying hand't thought about it but decided to tuff it out instead. There is no need for you to be scared so you have had a set back.Start today stay on the calories that was given to you when you signed in, mine is 1300. Stay on that amount------no fudgen lol!!! Worl out 5 days a week a good get workout and than I want you to pick 2 days of that wk, for your rest days. You need those rest days to rest your body and your muscles.      My story is that I came to this site weight 216 pounds with a very defeated attitude I watched my calories and worked out and drank plenty of water, you need that water to fluch toxins out of your body and it goes along with diet and excercise. So i waited continued to eat whenver whatever I want and come Fri. on my weight in day,(SUPRISE!!!) I had decieved myself.So i went back to my profile found my #of calories I was to have per day and began working out;but this time I stayed on track yes there were a few days I had gained a couple of lbs.But I hung in on what I had promised myself I would. So by saying all that I went down from 216 to 183 so far. I have 35 more lbs to lose but I ha much rather it be that than starting all over again. Good luck. I will be here anytime you want to talk. dac 250

 Tracy good afternoon, this is member dac250 you CAN loose that 100 pounds by simply following your weight loss planner. See how many calories you have to work with and stay on that amount, drink plenty of water and workout. Stay away from fast food places if you ate 1 hamber that would be between 320 and 340 calories alone than your cake has over 200 calories in it that right there is 660 calories. You can have lean meats and lots a vegetables and fruit, My i workout 5 days a week I put in a good hour cardio and legs lifts set ups walking is a good thing Tracks are ideal because you can walk there and than hit the bleachers. Unforunately our lbs do not go away by them selves it takes alot of work and determonation as well as a good support team and you can find that right here.I weighing 216 I am down now to 183. So you stay on your caloric # of calories each, drink plenty of water to wash those toxins out of your body, you workout 5 days and than you rest 2 days this gives your mucles time to relax and recooperate from you hard core work out and you just keep it up, tell your self I can do this even if you don't want to and soon you will see those lbs began to melt off. I am giving you the exact things I have done and I am still doing, I have 50 more pounds to lose. I will be with you, i will help you if you want me too.  dac 250

Wow! Thank you so much for that! I feel so motivated to do this! Im trying to maintain my weight, but at a point in my life I felt exactly like you! Thank you!

i also lost 60pounds and stuck,,,,, any advice?

hello all and thank you for your continued comments. I have lost a further 30 pounds (130 now in total).

I have reached several plateaus- some of them very long. It's something that will happen after long sustained dieting/weight loss. One thing that works for me is going for several weeks without starchy 'white' carbs  (ie potatoes, pasta, rice, bread) and snack on plenty of fruits and veg. Grazing on fruit with a high water content (strawberrries, melon) flushes out toxins.

Good luck everyone, if you need any more help just message me :o)

Sound advice Dac250, I am going to try that method out, whenever I go on a diet, I always get stuck at 150 pounds and the scales wud stay around there (gain and loss) then I get frustrated after a few months and fall back into my old habits and gain back the weight I lost. Thank you for the trick and congrats to you reaching you target weight laurabow.

I know that you posted this story a long while ago, but I wanted to wish you a congratulations. A major weight loss of 100 pounds or more is a huge achievement on your part, and an inspiration to so many people. Losing weight, especially beginning at a large number is not an easy thing to do. It takes great strength of heart to not give up. It takes an even stronger heart to keep your body at a healthy weight. I will take what I just read and use it to my advantage. So thank you again.

BTW I know that you can't see my head, but the picture I submitted is longer than it is wider.

Hi Laurabow,

What a great story, definitely good inspiration. I'm wondering how your body changed from all the weight loss. Specifically, did you have an problems with loose skin? If so, how did you deal with this? Did your skin eventually get tighter? Did you have surgery to remove the excess?

Sorry to ask such detailed questions but I'm trying to lose a large amount of weight as well and am wondering about this aspect.

Thank you

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