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Calorie Count Blog

I Chose To Live And Lost 227 Pounds

By Sheila on Sep 20, 2010 10:00 AM in Success Stories

Spnicander weighed 600 pounds was bed-ridden with several health problems.  Realizing his weight was slowly killing him, he chose to seek professional help.  He has lost 227 pounds and well on his way to his goal weight of 240lbs.

He 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 had become bed-ridden with severe neuropathy, arthritis and back pain. I checked into the hospital last year and it was there that I had my "Aha!" moment, realizing that there were only two ways to go with this - LIVE or DIE! I chose the former.

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

I've tried almost every diet, pills (over the counter & prescription), Weight Watchers, Deal-a-Meal, Grapefruit Diet, South Beach, Bomb Soup, ect. You name it! I've done it... So many it makes your head spin.

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

Well after about 150 hours of research on many trusted websites and after reading many teachings by famous Doctors, I drew a parallel between all the information and decided to first try all the things that everyone of those people kept emphasizing... drastically reduce the Big 3 (Fats, Sugars and Sodium), cut out all "white" foods and all "white flour" products... drink ungodly amounts of water (I prefer sparkling non-caloric flavors like DeerPark), start eating as much fiber from various food sources, especially veggies, fruits, raw nuts, hard unleavened bread like the Scandinavian varieties, and eat a BIG salad with raw veggies, organic greens, spinach, baby carrots, etc. EVERYDAY and then start moving and at first it was just in my recliner by turning on music and using my legs and arms, then I bought some ankle/wrist weights and a 3.5lb & 10 lb dumbbell and used them. This dramatically raised my heart rate and the sweating began and I was able to finally stand and march in place to the music!

Then with the use of a walker I started to walk small distances. After several months I was able to move better and my arthritis pain started to dwindle, this was the sign to me that the exercise was the KEY!  After watching the Biggest Loser workout sessions on YouTube and other exercise tips from other sources, I created a plan to fit my limitations and very soon I was able to keep increasing reps and adding different methods. Next I added resistance tubing and could start to duplicate some of the stuff you would do at a real gym, which by the way I cannot afford, with the first 3 month weigh in coming in at a whopping 154 lb LOST! It was all I needed to boost my confidence, and since then I have not looked back.  I am now biking 10 miles on a recumbent bike and will shortly join the YMCA (pool & gym) and take it to the next level - yeah baby!

4. How did Calorie Count help you to lose weight?

Calorie Count was the most important online tool I have utilized!  It not only gives you the exact count of everything you put in your mouth, but then breaks it all down into categories so you can see if you are meeting all your daily required values on everything including vitamins, minerals ect. It keeps the products you input in memory (food list) which makes it easy to track calories and nutrients. This was essential for me because I wanted to drastically reduce the fat, sugar and sodium and over time it also teaches you the calorie counts, so that when you dine out you can easily assess the amount you would consume in a restaurant. In addition, they now have a cell phone feature which enables you to input on the go and receive totals anywhere you get reception. Priceless! I highly commend the creators of this site because they have enabled anyone to self teach themselves about what and how to eat the right foods.

5. What was most challenging about losing weight?

Of course the exercise! That's what everyone hates, but it's the key to success! I'm not going to lie to you - anyone my size is going to experience pain but that begins to subside the more and the longer you keep it up.

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

After only 3 month's, people! This is possible! If I can do it, anyone can!

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

After the first weigh-in when seeing the results, I knew that the only thing standing between me and optimum health was time... that's it.

8. How do you prevent relapse?

I close my eyes and keep envisioning the way I WANT to look like and keep that in my head. As I work out I use that as a motivator and also I suggest getting involved with a social networking site where you might be able to get support from friends and others... I know that it has helped me tremendously... to get those daily affirmations, it keeps your fire stoked so to speak!

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

It's still ongoing but I have improved 200% in just a year so I know once I have conquered this... I can do anything I put my mind to!

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

  • Drink water a lot and just when you think you can't drink anymore... keep drinking! It sounds weird but it absolutely works.
  • Drastically reduce those Big 3 (Fats, Sugars and Sodium).
  • Become an avid label reader. Yes I know it takes a little more time, but if you are serious about losing, it is essential to do this.
  • Try to, if you can, eliminate all "white flour" and white foods in general (rice, potatoes, noodles, breads, cereals, etc).
  • Get movin' people!! Turn on the tunes and start today! You can do this! I am living proof!


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.


OMG! You are the poster boy of determination!  If you can lose close to 200 pounds damnit I can lose my misle 50!   Thank you for sharing your story :)

What a remarkable story!  congratulations!

i know i don't know you, but i am proud of you :)

GREAT job MAN.... Great JOB....

OMG! I'm so impressed ;)) 

Wink Awsome!! Thank you for sharing your story. I was bit low but after reading your story I'm truly motivated now.... thanks once again..Good work , keep it

Fabulous story of determination.  A recent study of 400,000 people in Europe showed decreasing the amount of meat eaten also helped maintain weight loss. They recommended egg for breakfast, salad with a bit of cheese for lunch and fish for dinner. In particular avoiding processed meat like ham , bacon and hot dogs really helped. Maybe this tweaking could help you to keep off the weight.

Keep your eye on the goal. Health to you !


We are all so proud of you and I will think of you when I wanna skip my exercise for the day!  Thank you for choosing to LIVE and for sharing your amazing story!!!  Keep up the good work!  God Bless You.

Congratulations! Best wishes in reaching your goal(s). I found your story very motivating and emotional. Good luck.

all i can say is WOW! and well done :)

Wow what a transformation. Very motivating. Thank you for sharing and God be with you on the rest of your journey.

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Go Dude! Fantastic. You look so sad with that cake.

I was feeling low and I read your story and saw how much weight you've lost. Awesome. It lifted my spirits and gave me motivation to get moving. MWAH. Best Wishes.


I think you've FINALLY provided me with the motivation I need to get up and get moving!  Thanks so very much for sharing your story--you truly are AMAZING!  Keep up the good work and God Bless!!

Your spirit is a live and well.  It's so awesome you chose a healthy happy life.  We are on this earth for a very short time let's make the best of it.  Don't let anything get ya done boy!  Awesome determination!!!(:

You are truly an inspiration!!  Thank you so much for sharing your story!  I feel motivated to get myself back on track TODAY!  Keep up the amazing work!!

Your story definitely motivates me!!! Kee it up!!!

You are so very awesome!!!!  Just when I wanted to give up I read your story and it lets me know nothing is impossible.  You are my hero!  Thanks for sharing.

You ARE an inspiration, Thankyou for sharing this chapter of your life.  You are correct, time, is the only thing standing between you and your desired weight.  I know you will continue and will never turn back.  God Bless you with continued will power and endurance. GREAT JOB!!

I will remember you when I reach my goal of 70 more, then I will post pics and thank you for your awesome inspiration, I'm down 32 in 18 months. Your happy healthy heart must be beaming with self pride!!  Spnicander, be looking for me on Calorie-Count, hopefully in 8 months or so with a 102 total husband and family will be totally shocked when I accomplish this. 

God Bless, which we see he already did!!

Way to go! Truly inspiring!

Very inspirational!

I will remember you when I reach my goal of 70 more, then I will post pics and thank you for your awesome inspiration, I'm down 32 in 18 months. Your happy healthy heart must be beaming with self pride!!  Spnicander, be looking for me on Calorie-Count, hopefully in 8 months or so with a 102 total husband and family will be totally shocked when I accomplish this. 

God Bless, which we see he already did!!

You are truly inspiring and your determination is truly one to be desired. You have truly inspired me to get back to exercising. I have cut out the white products but got out of rhythm of the exercise after vacationing this year. Thanks for your life experience. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK. Please keep up posted.

Thanks for sharing your incredible story!


Good going, Spnicander! Very inspiring.  This was a great way for me to start off a Monday, reading your story.  You don't give up because we're all very proud of you and admire your ability to keep going. You are a smart and strong person and deserve to have good health to enjoy it. 

AWESOME!!!!!!keep it up, you are an inspiration.....

You are truly an inspiration!! Congratulations on your acomplishments thus far and best of luck with everything to come your way!!

Outstanding!  Keep up the good work!!

Wow! It must feel so good to be up and moving again. Congratulations!

WAY TO GO, DUDE!!  We're ALL proud of you! That's one beautiful story, man!!  You're an inspiration to everybody....overweight or not!! WOW.

I am sitting here at my desk with tears of joy and pride for you.  Congratulations, stay strong.


Incredible!! You are a true inspiration that it doesn't matter where you start, if you set your mind to it, it can be done. Good luck on your continued journey.

You do not know me, but if it matters, I am proud of you!! That is just awesome!! Keep going, you can do it!!! I can not wait to see you at your goal weight!!!!

I am so inspired by your story and energized to work harder myself.  Thank you so much for sharing it!

So I glanced at this and thought, "oh great, another obese person who was able to drop all that weight through surgery."  Boy, was I pleased to see how wrong I was!!  Since losing weight despite medical conditions that counteract my efforts, I am so very respectful to those that can do it on their own.  And you are the most wondrous example of that!  I empathize with you, because it's my own research and choices that made it possible to lose weight, not a plan being dictated to you by someone else.  It's an amazing feeling when that willpower from within you finally wakes up and takes charge.  Your brain is your greatest tool!  Don't ever give up!  I really hope you now understand all the reasons you reached such a weight, so it never ever happens again.  You've worked so hard and are a shining example for all the people out there who are in your position.  You are an AMAZING human being and a TRUE INSPIRATION to so many!!  THANK YOU.

Congrats to you! Taking control is what it's all about and you did it the right way - by doing the research yourself and doing what was best for you. I've tried all the same diets that you mentioned and they worked for a while but were very restricting. I've got about 135 lbs to lose and you have given me the inspiration I need to continue on this journey. Thanks for sharing.

Such an amazing story! Great job! Laughing

I have been procrastinating.... and should be exercising! You gave me the incentive to get on the treadmill ~ starting this evening!

Thank you so much for sharing your story with all of us! Good luck on your journey!

WOW!!!!! Wonderful.

O  M  G. Thank you for this post. I am so heartened by your story. I have a family member who is obese and she is suffering with pain (both hips are getting replaced this winter). I respect her wish that no one ever brings up the topic of weight loss but I hope silently that she will achieve a healthy weight before she is 65, a few years away. I have been microseconds from suggesting Calorie Count to her but am waiting for some opening from her that she is looking for a weight loss system that WORKS before I open my mouth.

I wish you the greatest happiness and continuing good health. I hope you have been enjoying the activity and free movement that must have been so difficult, even impossible, with your former weight.

You look great! Thank you for your story.

What an amazing person you are. I had just come to the conclusion that people just don't change. I thought that no matter how much you wanted to be healthy and active, if it wasn't in your nature you were just doomed to failure. You, sir, have just proven me wrong and I'm so glad that you did! You've also taken away my excuse for not getting out and being active myself! Thank you for the wake up call!

Beyond Impressive...Congrats!  An excellent example of determination , hard work and commitment. 

Congrats on making the ultimate promise to yourself "TO LIVE!".  My favorite part of your story:

"After the first weigh-in when seeing the results, I knew that the only thing standing between me and optimum health was time... that's it."

You're looking great....keep on travelling the road to vibrant living!

Way to go! You are so right about the exercise, it is key to losing weight and keeping it off.

When you are ready for a fun and cheap way to exercise try Leslie Sansone. She is my favorite workout instructor. It is in home walking and anyone can do it. Start with one mile and work your way up. She also has workouts that incorporate stretchie bands, weights etc.

Please keep us all posted on your progress, I know you will be successful.

Excellent!  Great Job, truly an inpiration!

That's awesome! you are such an inspiration! :)

You are an inspiration! I'm glad to read your story because so many people think the only way to lose weight is by surgery. Keep up the good work! You have earned the right to pat yourself on the back!

Wow, incredible story! Congrats and thank you for sharing your story. Truly inspiring! :)

YEAH BABY!!!!!Laughing

It is stories, like yours, of REAL people loosing REAL weight using the good ole, get up & go & change of diet, that motivate people. GREAT JOB!! You keep going. YOU WILL REACH YOUR GOAL!! Keep us all updated!

you are an inspiration!! keep it up :) you are doing great

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