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Determined to Get Healthy
Taking his doctor’s advice seriously, Tsquare has managed to control his high blood pressure and normalize his blood sugar (glucose) levels by losing over 70lbs. In his story, he shares his weight loss experience as well as some tips on the necessity of making a lifestyle change, not merely going on a diet.
He 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?
After watching my father struggle with diabetes and its impact on his quality of life, I realized that I was headed in the same direction. I had been on hypertension medication for two years and my last physical (2007) showed an elevated glucose reading and a weight of approximately 248 lbs. My doctor warned me to do something...so I got serious and started.
2. What other "diets" (programs, products, plans, or services) had you tried in the past?
In 2006, I tried the Atkins and weight watchers with limited success. I lost about 20 pounds but soon gained back 18 of those pounds (248). I gave up for a while until my last physical in 2007.
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 realized that any successful efforts to lose weight would require more than a diet or exercise plan. It would require a whole new lifestyle change for me. I was an active athlete as a teenager and college student, but had grown accustomed to a sedentary lifestyle in my professional life. My work as an Architect is sedentary and I made no efforts to change that. My research online brought me to Calorie Count. I spent most of my time reading forums and being encouraged by others victories and sharing in the struggle of others. In the end I realized that I would have to "teach" myself, again, how to eat nutritiously and start having a more active life.
4. Please describe how Calorie Count was instrumental to your weight loss.
I enjoyed reading the personal stories of other Calorie Count Members and reading the blogs about exercise and nutrition. In addition, the daily food and activity logs helped me keep track of my daily nutrition and exercise.
5. What difficulties did you experience losing weight?
Plateaus were frequent. It seemed like every loss of 5lbs or so caused several weeks of stagnation. I however began to grow accustomed to eating properly and looked forward to exercising.
6. How long did it take you to see results? When did you realize that you were a success?
Ultimately, my total loss took over 2 years. When others starting mentioning that I was looking great and asking me how did I lose the weight, It inspired me to continue.
7. How do you prevent relapse?
I'm a dedicated runner and don't eat out that often. I do have my days where I get a little out of control, however, I can "afford" it now. I'm constantly looking at food labels. I have virtually, eliminated most of the processed foods in my diet.
8. How has your life changed now that you've lost weight?
What a difference! I struggled, even on medication, with my blood pressure exceeding 145/100. My resting heart rate prior to the BP medicine was 93 - 95. I'm no longer on BP medicine. My blood pressure averages 112/68-72 now. My resting heart rate is 48 - 51. I enjoy exercising...and it's become great therapy following the hassle of work and running an architectural practice.
9. How long have you maintained your current weight?
I have maintained my weight for over a year. My father died recently due to complications of obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. This is an epidemic among my family members. I want to be an example to them and show them it can be beaten.
10. What five tips do you have for other dieters?
- Do something radical! I made a pledge to get up at 4AM every morning to exercise and keep that for 2 years.
- Cut out and eliminate processed foods!
- Start your exercise slowly. I started walking and in time began running. I just completed my first 15K in 1 hour and 28 minutes (Not a barn burner - but did it without stopping).
- Get a support group, like Calorie Count. You can learn a lot and be encouraged!
- Don't give in and don't give up. It still is a daily challenge for me.
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.