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Losing Weight is More Than Just Dieting
For Goingblue, losing weight is more than just dieting. He started his lifestyle change by adding exercise and using Calorie Count to educate himself on proper nutrition. In his story he shares his tips that have helped him lose 37 pounds, which makes him feel healthier and happier.
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?
When I was younger up until the age of about 28 I didn't know the first thing about nutrition. I was unhealthy, bigger than ever. I didn't know my way around the gym. I was just kind of miserable. I was fortunate to have some friends that were very athletic and took my 'under their wing' to help me out on my journey.
2. What other "diets" (programs, products, plans, or services) had you tried in the past?
I did not try any other services or plans. I just started walking, then running, then hitting the gym, then doing triathlons and road races. I started to realize that I wasn't doing myself any favors in the nutrition department when I was working out so hard.
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 to move. Found things that motivated me like the goal of a 5k, 10, 13.1 miles...but the single most important thing was to start logging everything like crazy - this helped me learn what I can eat a lot of, get an A rating and run a near calorie deficit on any day. I am never hungry and never go without. It's a matter of using the Calorie Count site to learn, get proactive and equip yourself to make good decisions throughout the day.
4. Please describe how Calorie Count was instrumental to your weight loss.
You can't know where you are going if you don't know where you are at. Tracking everything keeps you focused, helps you learn. If I know I'm going out to a restaurant I can pick out what I want to order BEFORE I step one foot in the door. Log it, enjoy it, and not blow my day.
5. What difficulties did you experience losing weight?
Once you start to put on muscle and you lose the big weight - weight loss kind of stops - so you have to remember to look at how you feel, how your clothes fit and enjoy it - don't get too hung up on the scale after a while. Do a caliper test when you start out and check it out monthly. BMI is usually no good indication of anything because all of our body types are different. I'd rather see you do a full body caliper test with someone trained - once a month or quarterly.
6. How long did it take you to see results? When did you realize that you were a success?
3 months. When I could fit into my old clothes. When the numbers fell inline. When I could run 5 miles and talk to my wife while doing it. When I was one of the more fit people in my gym. When I realized that my new lifestyle is enjoyable. I'm not on a diet. I learned how to eat for me. I found ways to eat tons of food and never be hungry.
7. How do you prevent relapse?
Don't get discouraged if you have a bad day. Focus on the gym as part of stress relief and long term quality of life. Know that when you go you will feel so much better after and focus on that after affect. Do your logging until you are dead on accurate. You can see a cup of cereal, a portion of chicken, etc - just by looking. But every month or 6 months go back and log in detail again. See where you are screwing up. Sharpen your saw. Find a gym routine that works for you. Mix it up. I do yoga with the wife, run with the wife, do cross fit with her then go to my guys gym once a week. Non stop mixing it up. Having all sorts of options. If I just want to get it done and relax I can run RIGHT NOW. Work out during lunch if your evenings are full. Make it work, make it non-negotiable. A healthy fit employee is a better worker so make sure you take care of yourself. You'll be more productive.
8. How has your life changed now that you've lost weight?
I'm just happier. I look forward to doing things. I'm in a much better mood all the time. I love being able to hang when I go skiing. Love life is great.
9. How long have you maintained your current weight?
6 months. Prior to that 10 years. I moved across the country and became a step dad. My 'routine' was disrupted. Bad food was in the house. I couldn't find a cross fit gym I liked. But, eventually I figured it out.
10. What tips do you have for other dieters?
- Log in great detail, especially at first. Spend time reading labels and walking through the super market. There is a LOT to learn about food. Read as much as you can. Fads don't work. Look for things that you like that you can eat a lot of. You will naturally gravitate toward vegetables and an A rating. You'll see. Egg whites are your best friend. Learn to love the omelet with veggies.
- Find a work out plan that works for you. Have lots of options. Start slow. Plug in your burn and run that calorie deficit. You can run big deficits at first to do some big weight drops - great to get you motivated - but you have to live your life. Just try to stay below your number and it's a win. If you can't work out that day...try to make it a little bigger deficit.
- Supplement Fiber.
- Make your plan non-negotiable. If you aren't healthy, happy and, here with the living, you are no use to anyone. It's ok to put yourself first. Your new energy will give you a lot more opportunities to love your family with quality time. But YOU have to come first in this plan.
- Don't get hung up on the scale once you approach your target weight. If you are very over weight you'll lose a lot of fat and drop weight fast. Then you'll get stuck. Just remember your body is changing. Muscle weighs a lot more than fat. So don't let the scale discourage you. Think of the week as an aggregate for calorie intake. This will help you recover after a couple bad days. If you are good 5 out of 7 days - you will be fine. Don't get discouraged if you go out on Saturday and have what you want. You'll find that you won't go off the deep end nearly as bad once you log for a while. Equip yourself to make good decisions when you go on. I'm going to McDonald's tonight with the kids. And it sounds good. So I check out the nutritional scale BEFORE I go and know what I'm going to order going in. Yeah, it's ok to skip a meal and save yourself for a bigger dinner - so long as you stick to your plan going in. Make sense? If not, email me. - get excited. You'll start to lose weight fast once you start your plan.
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.