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Calorie Count Blog

Determined to Get Healthy

By Sheila on Oct 17, 2011 10:00 AM in Success Stories

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 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.


Wow ... you are a true inspiration!


That is a really awesome and motivating story! Thank you for sharing. You have done a really awesome job!

What a wonderful story I couldn't be happier for you, and what a lovely bright smile you have in your picture, reading your story has made my day keep enjoying your health.

Great story.  Congrats on your weight loss and improved health.  It really is a lifestyle change.

Great job. What an inspiration you are. Hopefully I'll be able to share my success story. Keep it up.

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Thank you for this, it is crazy that I too hit (-5) lbs and either stop or go up.  I am trying to stay motivated and I keep repeating that this isn't a diet, but a lifestyle change, so hopefully I will see real changes soon.

Congratulations!  You are a true inspiration for me!

Welcome to the Joy-ful Fit Club!! We got us one more!!! Yea!!!!!!!!!!Laughing!!!!

What a great Monday morning inspiration.  Keep up the great work!Wink

I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your father, but it is amazing that you made this lifestyle change at this point in your life.   Perhaps you can be an inspiration to others in your family that you can take charge of your life and prevent an early death and a life filled with limitations and medical problems.  Well done!

congratulations Tsquare on reaping the benefits of all of your hard work.  thank you for sharing your story - every time I read about another person's perseverance I am inspired to keep putting one foot in front of another toward my healthy goals.  Keep up the good and hard work - YOU are worth it!

Hubba hubba! :)  Great story, and you look wonderful.  A great motivation for my Monday!

"Don't Give up, Don't Give in, it's still a daily challenge to me."

Those are words to live by. I'm a skeptic. I challenge anything, this is more than likely my reason for being in the "big" boat. It's still a daily challenge to me, speaks to me. It shows that you're human, that there are days it's hard. It shows you're human, not some computer generated picture. Thank you. I needed this.

Tsquare, what a great story and you look GREAT!  Hang in there.  I am striving to change my lifestyle as well.  It's definitely can be challenging but with determination as you have indicated it can be done.  I, as you do has family members who too lives with those illness.  I pray you will be an inspiration to your family as I pray I will to my family.  Keep it up.

way to beat the odds!  love the story and the motivation!



(see my profile for blog and success story 130 lbs)

Great story, and good job on the lifestyle change Tsquare!! Your success story along with the many others I have read on this site since joining keep me motivated to reach my goals. Best of luck to you in the future.

Wow, great job. I am exactly where you were. My mother just died three months ago because of diabetes and heart issues. My whole family is severely overweight and all have diabetes. I've lost 4 family members to it. I totally get it. I'm doing the same things and it's great to hear that someone else is standing up to generations of diabetes and poor self-care. You're an inspiration to keep getting up at 7:30am and hit the elliptical hard. :)

I am where you started and your dedication and committment has inspired me this morning to stick to my goal even though I have so much to loose-at times it seems unattainable. Thanks for sharing, and inspiring me. Continue on your healthy path to maintain the great accomplishments you have attained!

Thanks for sharing, reading stories like yours is what keeps me determined in not only maintaining but also to push myself beyond what I thought I was capable of.

Thanks for this great story... I started my journey but never made a lifestyle change so after minor successes, I reverted to my old habits and gained back the 10lbs I had fought to lose. My key take away is that "any successful effort to lose weight requires more than a diet or exercise plan"! Thanks again.

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Let me add my congratulations and best wishes for continued health. The smile on your "after" picture says it all and your commitment to helping others is a commitment to yourself. God Bless.Laughing

Tsquare your story is a definite motivator. I have only been on my weight loss journey for 9 months and often feel like giving up but I too battle with high blood pressure and know that I must stay at it for my own good.

You should be proud!  Such an inspirational story!

Nice guns, T! You are looking great and feeling good: the perfect combo. Stay with it. We are rooting for you!

Thank you so very much for sharing your story. My husband and I are just beginning to lose weight and your story is inspiring and encouraging for me. I wish you the best of luck in the future and send you blessings and strength with the loss of your father.

I am sorry for the loss of your father, hopefully the other members of your family can see that it can be beat.  Thank you for your story, I started on this life long journey on August 4 of this year after finding this site.  Calorie counters is like an old friend now.  There is always someone there to lift you up and people like you who have achieved success.  I have lost 36 pounds so far, but with the help of this site, it is the easiest weight loss I have ever encountered.  God Bless you and if even one other member of your family can join you in your healthy life style, your struggles in the beginning would have been worth it.


A new outlook and a new lifestyle change equals a new look.  Now, that's something to talk about and for you to be proud of.  CONGRATS!!

Congratulations on not only losing the weight....but keeping it off as well.   You are an inspiration to a lof of folks but especially African American men such as myself.  As you know, we have a real challenge in our community with obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes.   Keep up the good work and keep setting a great example for Brothers like me! 

Wow Wow Wow! ohh thank you so much for sharing this, you must feel so accomplished! You look grrrreat!


You look fantastic and it's great that you can be a good example to others, especially your surviving family.  So sorry for the loss of your father.  My father also had some health conditions exacerbated by some of his unhealthy lifestyle habits. 

Thanks for the motivation!  2 years is the way to do it.  My husband has lost 85 pounds at about that rate and it has been a huge help to his health. 

Thank you for sharing your very inspiring, and informational story.  I especially appreciate your reflection on hitting plateaus.  This is my greatest discouragement.  But, I've come to realize that it's no reason to quit, or to think that you're failing.  Plateaus can be overcome with tenacity!  

Amazing! Good for you! I hope that someday I too can reach my goal!

WOW!!! Conrats!!! These stories help us to go on. Wev'e been on "The 17 day diet" and really like it. It's a lot of learning to eat right. Like you say, a life change. I've lost 21 lbs. and my boyfriend 35..Keep up the GREAT work!

WOW!!! Conrats!!! These stories help us to go on. Wev'e been on "The 17 day diet" and really like it. It's a lot of learning to eat right. Like you say, a life change. I've lost 21 lbs. and my boyfriend 35..Keep up the GREAT work!

Wow, what an inspiring story....your story is helping me stay on track tonight.

Thanks to all of you for your encouraging comments! I'm humbled that my story has been inspiring but I want you to know its still a daily battle for me. I recognize that this is a lifetime commitment but what makes it achievable for me are the many members here on CC that are doing it everyday. Thank you for your stories and lets continue to encourage one another to good health!  


Great job!  You're looking gooood!  I am especially impressed that you have maintained for over a year.  I know going from goal oriented to maintenance will be a big step for me.  I like reading success stories and I hope you will be a success for the rest of your life. 

Wow~  What a true inspiration you are.  I posted this article on my facebook so that my family members & friends can see that you can do anything that you set your mind to.  My hat is off to you and I teared up reading your story!  Fantastic and  congratulations!Smile

Great Job TSquare!  And you are very handsome, are u married?  Kiss  I bet u get a lot of that now cuz YOU LOOK MAR-R-R-R-VELOUS!! 

I too come from a family with health issues (my mom is hospitalized now with issues related to HBP, Diabetes, CHF) I have HBP and I am overweight.  I am on the weight loss journey, not for vain reasons (cause I STILL look good) but for health reasons as well.   I watch my mom suffer through her illnesses and it breaks my heart.  I do not want my children to go through that pain.  I am sorry to hear of the loss of your father, however, what you have done with your life because of his suffering is a gift to your family now.  WAY TO GO TSQUARE!  Wink

Congratulations! You are a real example to all of us! :-) I am sure you will inspire and change life of many. Thank you for your story.

 Congratulations Tsquare.

 Your story made my day. Thanks!

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really you are a true inspiration.

Great job!!!

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