Important Update: Calorie Count will be shutting down on March 15th. Please click here to read the announcement. Data export is available.
Losing 144 Pounds without Surgery
This is an incredible Success Story for a man who was so reluctant to lose weight. After a Doctor’s visit and being suggested to have Bariatric surgery, Bigsquid went to his consultation. However, there he teamed up with a Nutritionist; he’s successfully lost 144 lbs, without the surgery!
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?
My whole life I've been obese. My doctor always urged me to do something about it. I was always the type of person that thought "one day I will do something". Then one day I went to my doctor for a back injury, and the topic changed to my weight.
The doctor suggested that I go for bariatric surgery (stomach staples or banding). I never liked the idea, but I am not a closed minded person, so I figured I would go to the consultations to see what it was all about. As part of that program, I saw a nutritionist.
I started changing what I ate at the advice of my nutritionist. I saw that I lost 20 pounds in 2 months doing just that. I was amazed and I thought to myself, if I could lose 20 pounds in 2 months just changing what I ate, without even doing exercise, then I don't need any surgery and I can do this on my own. I added exercise into the mix, and stepped up my diet and exercise every week and made amazing progress.
2. What other "diets" (programs, products, plans, or services) had you tried in the past?
Do all you can eat sushi, donairs, and fast food count? I had never tried anything in the past. I wasn't very educated about nutrition before I started seeing a nutritionist.
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 started off slowly. I changed what I ate for the first two months and did not exercise. I lost 20 pounds.
I slowly started adding exercise into the mix. 15 minutes on the bike every other day. I started upping it to 30 mins after a couple weeks. 45 mins after another couple weeks. Then I started mixing up my cardio doing elliptical and stairmaster, increasing intensity and duration as I went along. I reached the point where I now do 90-120 minutes cardio a day, and about 20 sets of weights a day. The key was to slowly increase intensity and duration, and to start off SLOW. Like I said, I was only doing 15 minutes of cardio every other day.
4. Please describe how Calorie Count was instrumental to your weight loss.
Unless I am having a cheat meal, one of my rules that I live by is, "never eat anything unless you know what is exactly in it". Calorie Count is a KEY TOOL for living by this rule. In order to track and count calories, I use Calorie Count to quantify everything I eat and track all my calories.
5. What difficulties did you experience losing weight?
One of the things I always told myself is, never qualify things by difficulty. This shouldn't be hard or easy. It shouldn't be something that I rank in terms of difficulty. It is all about making choices, and different decisions. Making different decisions doesn't have to be "hard", it's just different. Having said that, of course, I do miss fast food.
6. How long did it take you to see results? When did you realize that you were a success?
After I lost 100 pounds in about 6 months, which was a huge milestone. At that point I realized I was a success. 3 digit weight loss in such a short time was an amazing milestone.
7. How do you prevent relapse?
I realize that there is no such thing as a "diet"; this has to be a permanent change in my life. Otherwise I will lead a life of poor health and suffering.
Having cheat days, and a cheat meal help, and live by the mentality NOT to place restrictions on yourself. For example, I can eat anything I want, but I choose not to. There is no restriction, just make the right choices.
8. How has your life changed now that you've lost weight?
Wow, where do I start? I'll do this in point form:
- I no longer suffer diabetes, liver, blood pressure, heart disease risks!!!!
- For the first time ever, my doctor has said I'm in "perfect health"
- I can actually feel/see my bones for the first time ever.
- I get cold easier. LOL
- I can buy any clothes that I want, NOT based on size restrictions.
- I can fit comfortably into any seats.
- I can make educated nutritional choices.
- I'm never out of breath easily.
- I feel like I have unlimited cardio ability.
- I don't sweat as easily.
- The list goes on!
9. How long have you maintained your current weight?
About 2 months. I have added intense weight lifting, and have changed my diet towards maintaining weight, losing fat and building muscle. These three things have caused a balance in my weight. My BMI is currently 25.7. Given some loose skin I have, and my large frame, I am not too concerned that I am technically still overweight. I would like to reach 175 pounds (I am 188) just so I can be at a "healthy" BMI.
10. What five tips do you have for other dieters?
- Don't consider your journey difficult. Just think of it this way; life is about choices, they don't have to be hard or easy, just different.
- Be persistent and don't give up. Persistence and finding a pattern that works for you is key.
- Have a cheat meal once in a while.
- Count your calories!!!
- Always step it up. Don't be satisfied; always try to improve yourself whether that means stepping up your diet, or increasing exercise to get even FITTER!
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.