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Calorie Count Blog

My Journey to Wellness

By Sheila on Feb 14, 2011 10:00 AM in Success Stories

Removing unhealthy food from her diet is a constant challenge for Echoqueen. Exercising, changing her food habits, and keeping herself accountable through self-talk are getting her to where she wants to go -- towards a healthier lifestyle.  She has lost 47 lbs and is nearing her goal.

She 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?

After seeing my primary care physician and finding out that I had high blood pressure, borderline cholesterol and type II Diabetes, I knew that I had to do something. Being a cardiac ultrasound technologist I saw patient's everyday with unhealthy lifestyles and I kept telling them they should lose weight and exercise but I wasn't following my own advice. It was time to start being accountable for my own unhealthy lifestyle.

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

Weight Watchers worked for me for a little while, but I kept telling myself, "oh you can have a little of this and a little of that, it is within your points". That doesn't work for me, I needed a lifestyle change.

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

Initially I saw a physician who specializes in bariatric medicine and she advised me to stop eating white flour and sugar and keep a food diary. She explained how flour hasn't any nutritional value and if I wanted I could have whole wheat flour, for example, whole wheat bread and pasta. At first it was a little difficult, but as time went on, it became easier, plus I lowered my daily calories. Also, I began walking 2 miles a day every single day with two neighbors, so it was fun and I always knew they were outside waiting for me. In addition, the physician I began to see, helped me realize why I ate the way I did all those years. Being an emotional/stress eater, I would grab and eat things that were unhealthy, now I choose healthy foods only. My house is rid of all the temptations, and I don't miss them one bit.

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

In January of 2010, I was recuperating from surgery for 2 months, and I thought I needed to have an online diary to keep me accountable. I found Calorie Count and it was my lifesaver. Being home, there was a lot of time to eat out of boredom, so I really had to stay focused. Calorie Count helped me do that. In addition, I love to cook, so I just put in my ingredients and voila, it told me how many calories in a portion. I could alter recipes to fit into my diet plan. It was perfect. I now give the website information to many of my patients. It was such a wonderful tool for me, I believe it can help everyone.

5. What was most challenging about losing weight?

I work for cardiologists and everyday pharmaceutical reps bring in a catered lunch. It was always unhealthy foods, but a huge buffet everyday, very tempting. There was mostly always a salad, but fried foods, dishes with sauces, pasta, rice, always a plate of huge cookies and candy. Of course soda and general all around unhealthy foods. I would take my own lunch, but that buffet always looked so much better than what I brought. In the beginning of my lifestyle change, I would sit by myself for 3 to 5 minutes in a room and say to myself, "that's not my food" over and over and over. I would then go into the break room and take out my own healthy lunch and eat it. The reps would always comment, aren't you going to eat this great lunch we brought, and I would respond with "no thanks, I brought my own". The girls I worked with kept questioning me, "why aren't you eating this great lunch?" As time went on they saw I was losing weight and I told them, "these lunches are very unhealthy, I won't eat them anymore". Once I got beyond that, I was good to go, it was much easier.

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

Pretty much immediately. I had changed my lifestyle, it wasn't a diet, and now I just eat healthy all the time. My initial weight before finding was 15 pounds higher.

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

When the holidays came, I said no to all the cookies, pies, desserts, chocolate etc. I felt empowered and I didn't miss it.....that is the amazing part, once you don't eat white flour and sugar the cravings disappear.

8. How do you prevent relapse?

I am always focused, there is a picture of me at my heaviest on my desk at work, so I can look at that and say to myself, "I will never go back to that unhealthy lifestyle".

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

I am so much healthier, lots more energy and my family looks at me and are so proud of what I have accomplished. They have seen me diet over the years and lose and gain over and over, they cannot believe I have done this. I look and feel 15 to 20 years younger.

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

  • Start moving, walking is safe, easy and you can do it anywhere, anytime. The gym is not necessary. A walking tape is even a good start.
  • Get rid of the food in your house that you can no longer eat. Even if you have children, they should be eating healthier as well.
  • Use as a terrific tool.  Again, I cook and used it and continue to use it to figure out calories in a recipe.
  • Drink lots of water, never drink soda or even diet soda.  I am very careful with juices, they are too full of sugar.  Only no sugar varieties for me.
  • Recognize why you overeat or why you choose foods that are unhealthy.  For me that was the biggest turning point, recognizing that I was in control.  You have control over food, not food has control over you!  That is my favorite line, and I say it all the time to my patients.  I saved my life, now you can too!


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.


Congratulations!  Here's to a healthier life :-) And I love your tips, especially the last one - recognize why you overeat.

I am try to get my life and my health to a place where I am Happy.I have been on the weight rollercoaster all my life and how it is time for a change. I am here to get the help and support I need cause i don'tget it at home.Ihave @ grone children a husband and a cat name Bella and she is my baby.I have tryed a lot of different weight lost program to many to name.I even work with the wii at times will be good with it for a week then I lose it.

Congrats girly

i commend you on resisting that tempting catered food! it always dissapoints me when physicians or doctors are nurse are unhealthy and overweight yet they give me advice on how i should lose weight

Way to take CONTROL!  Awesome results!

I have lost 125 pounds through calories count pretty much the same way you did! 

Keep it up! 


(link to my blog in my profile with more on my weight loss)

Congratulations to Echoqueen - who happens to be my wonderful mother!

I love your comment about the children eating healthier too.  I think it's important that they don't get to eat the stuff that you aren't eating because it's junk.  Well done on embracing this healthier way of life.

What a great story! Very inspiring and straight forward.  No magic--just lifestyle changes.

It is interesting that the pharmaceutical reps provided unhealthy catered lunches!  Is that sort of like promoting a need for their product??

Original Post by: gpmicro

Congratulations to Echoqueen - who happens to be my wonderful mother!

That is SO SWEET of you to support your mom! I bet you're very proud of her. And I'm sure you were a great inspiration for her to get healthy!

8. How do you prevent relapse?

I am always focused, there is a picture of me at my heaviest on my desk at work, so I can look at that and say to myself, "I will never go back to that unhealthy lifestyle".


I do the same thing.  Congrats to you!  Truly inspirational.

That is so sweet!!! :) Your mom did great

Great Job!  I appreciate many of your comments and tips.  The one thing I really need to do right now is figure out how to give up soda of any kind.  The more I read about diet soda it really isn't a good alternative to regular soda.  I love water so at least I have that going for me.  Soda drinking is a hard habit to break for me for some reason. 

I love that you're passing on the good news of first and foremost by your own awesome example, and then also through your job. You just never know what seeds you've planted. Congratulations, you look great! 

Original Post by: 4photochick

Great Job!  I appreciate many of your comments and tips.  The one thing I really need to do right now is figure out how to give up soda of any kind.  The more I read about diet soda it really isn't a good alternative to regular soda.  I love water so at least I have that going for me.  Soda drinking is a hard habit to break for me for some reason. 

Soda was one of things that was hard for me to give up too.  At one point I didn't think I could ever look at water again because of the no taste feature.  However, one of my friends suggested putting lemon or lime in the water to kick it up a notch.  It was an idea I've now been using for years.  In the morning I put sliced lemon or lime in a 32 ounce nalgene and then fill it with ice.  By lunch some of the ice has melted and it makes a great flavor when filling up the bottle.  Way cheaper then buying flavored water and it doesn't leave any after taste because it isn't artificial. 

Great job, you look beautiful.  It takes guts to admit your own faults, especially when at work you have to tell people to take better care of themselves.  I totally understand the big drug rep lunches, my poor mom has to deal with them all the time since she, too, works at a doctor's office.  I only hope one day she can make the change you did.  And congrats on saying no to the sweets, that's a huge challenge to overcome. 

You look great! I am doing this for myself this time (which implies I've tried before). My children are all runners and very active and my oldest daughter is studying 'aging' for her masters degree while instructing older adults at the senior centers in our city. I recently went to a 'walking' forum with her and was truly embarrassed that I have looked this way for far too long. I 'won' the door prize which was a book on walking so I have no excuses! Smile Continued good luck to you!

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 your story is much like mine I also use self talk  and have recieved health benifits from my new lifestyle I have been on my new life style for about 8 years

 the self talk  helps a lot  It helped me take off 97 pounds

after 3 years on my plan  my life long struggle with asthma went away no more meds

 I started the jpurney to help my body fight off macular degeneration the good news is the amd is under control  I guess my body figured my breathing was more important than fixing the eyes  so if I stay on plan maybe it will get around to fixing the eye problem ...


 Congrats on your success  keep up the good work your body will thank you .

Hugs Judy:)

Thank you all for the support and wonderful compliments!  My son who also commented was and continues to be a huge inspiration to me.  We keep each other on track which is important with day to day temptations.  Someone asked about giving up soda, which was not an issue to me, however I do realize that many people drink diet and regular soda continually during the day.  I began using Special K protein powder in a bottle of water.  It has a some protein and fiber in it, the lemonade flavor is delicious and it goes down very easy.  I fill a nalgene bottle with water (more than the recommended amount) and then add the powder and more lemon either fresh or a packet of True Lemon (powdered lemon), so refreshing, and an easy way to get down 2-3 glasses of water.  Good Luck to all of you, and remember, nothing tastes as good as skinny feels!!

You look great, my first day on Calorie Count.  I think this is where i've been missing the boat...not journaling my food intake.  You must be very proud of yourself.....

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