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Calorie Count Blog

Running Circles Around My Former Self

By Sheila on Jun 27, 2011 10:00 AM in Success Stories

Ellektra is not a stranger to losing weight.  Having been overweight for her entire life, she has previously lost 140lbs simply by counting calories and exercising.  Then in 2010 she quit smoking and slowly realized her weight was creeping back up.  She joined Calorie Count and has successfully lost those remaining 51 lbs. 

She 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?

I really started my weight lose in about 2003 when I weighed an astounding 335 pounds. I was overweight my entire life, for as long as I can remember. I decided enough was enough and worked really hard for 2 years and lost most of my weight then, before Calorie Count, but in much of the same way, diet and exercise. I got down to 245 and then it took me 2 more years to get down to about 210. I quit smoking April 2010 and was at 195. I gained 10 pounds and got really scared, that's when I found Calorie Count, which has forever changed my life.

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

Prior to 2003, I yo-yoed a lot with my weight in between having children. As I said before, I was overweight most of my life and lost a lot of weight before having my first child. I gained it back and then lost it again before my second child, when I gained it all back again, plus some. I never went on any 'fad' diets; it was always just diet and exercise.

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 lost this weight by FINALLY, after 40 years, taking control of my addiction with food. I stopped eating cookies every day, and started eating fruit. I started running, which I had never done in my entire life. I joined a gym and found I actually enjoy exercise. I didn't cut out any certain foods, just started eating healthier, but allowing myself to have those 'cheats' once in awhile.

4. Please describe how Calorie Count was instrumental to your weight loss.

Not to be too dramatic, but Calorie Count completely saved me! It educated me on every type of food and the nutrition of it. Because of CC, I feel better and I'm healthier at 43 then I have ever been in my entire life. CC helped me to realize that you CAN eat, just stay within your calorie range.

5. What difficulties did you experience losing weight?

Since I started Calorie Count, I haven't really had many difficulties. Maybe just dealing with the plateaus and having to educate myself when my weight would fluctuate from time to time.

6. How long did it take you to see results? When did you realize that you were a success?

It was just over a month in. After losing the first 15 pounds and my 'tight' jeans started to get baggy and my friends and family started noticing and commenting on the way I look. My biggest success was when I actually ran 5K for the first time!

7. How do you prevent relapse?

By continuing to live the way I have in the last year. Even though I am now maintaining, I still count every calorie I eat and still exercise 5 times a week. It's very important to realize this is a LIFE change, and not just while you lose the weight. I KNOW that I am going to have to count calories and be physically active for the rest of my life, and I am OKAY with that!

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

Oh, where do I start? First and foremost, I feel so good! At 43, I have more energy and could completely run circles around my former self. I love getting up and getting dressed every morning and I love looking at myself in the mirror. I no longer have to head to the 'big gals' pricey clothes section. I don't have to put back 8 of the 10 items of clothing I have picked out because they looked so much better on the hanger, in fact I rarely try clothes on any more before I get home. AND my size 12 foot is now a size 10/11, so I can buy shoes at normal shops!

9. How long have you maintained your current weight?

For about 4 months now. I really thought it was going to be hard, and I am still figuring it all out on just what I can and can't do, but it's getting easier and easier. It's nice to be able to go out to dinner with my husband and know if I put an extra bit of effort into my week, I will be fine.

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

I wish I could pinpoint what triggered this change in me so I could bottle it up and share it with others who struggle, but I can't. Something just finally took hold. I guess you just have to want it bad enough, I mean REALLY want it. Once that happens, and you start feeling like a 'new and improved' you, it just gets easier and easier. My five tips could be the normal drink loads of water, take a vitamin every day, exercise, but instead I will say:

  • Do NOT cheat yourself. It will hurt no one but you. If you eat a piece of chocolate, count it!  Count every calorie you put in your mouth!
  • Same goes for exercise, if you did 30 minutes of cardio, don't log 45 just because it puts your calories burned where they need to be.
  • Mix your exercise routine up. If you do the same thing over and over, you WILL get bored and that usually is why people stop doing it. Keep it interesting by taking a zumba or spinning class once a week.
  • Read, read, and read some more. Educate yourself and use the internet! It truly is a world of information at your fingertips. If you have a doubt/question/concern, you'll find the answer and you will learn you are not alone in this struggle.
  • This is the most important thing to remember. Do NOT do this for your husband, or the cruise you are getting ready to take, or that pair of jeans you want to fit into again. Do it for only one reason: YOU! You are the only one that matters when it comes to your health and well being. The people in your life will benefit, and that will just add an extra bonus to the way you feel for doing this for you. You CAN do this! Honestly. I spent my first 40+ years of life living with food controlling me, so if I can do it, I do believe anyone can!


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.


Dear Ellektra! Well done!!! You look stunning!

Great advice, congrats on the success, keep it up! :D

thank you!  You are inspiring!

Hi, You go girl!  What you did is no little feat! I have been a yo-you dieter all my life, I am determined  to get past it.  Just wondering, how often did you weigh yourself?

Awesome, awesome work! Great tips as well! Thank you!!

congratulations !!!!! I have just started the diet and excercise to loose 30 pounds and it is a hard work but looking at your journey  I am so much motivated... keep it up and good luck !!!! cc is really very helpful tool to know where I am going right and wrong..

You look awesome!!  So happy for you!  And how wonderful that you quit smoking, as well.  That is another tough addiction that you conquered!!  Way to go.  What an inspiration you are.  Your kids have a role model now, and will be able to handle anything life throws at them.  God bless you!

Glad you did it for YOU!  So true!  Its a mental internal switch that has to flip!  Way to go!


(see my profile for blog link and success story - 130 pounds down and holding)

Excellent post and so grateful of you to share your success story! 

You look great and congrats on your wonderful journey! =)

Inspiring words and fantastic tips!  You look great!

BEAUTIFUL!!  What an inspiration for the rest of us!!  Be proud, VERY proud....and know that we are all proud of you. GREAT JOB!

I love your story!  I struggle with the same issues so this was great to read.  Well done!

To God be the praise! I enjoy reading your story and the tips you shared. I always heard that your feet get smaller, but never thought it actually did. That is always a plus :) 

While all success stories are inspiring I love to hear the ones where there was a lot of weightloss. I have about 80 lbs to loose and I didn't start out as heavy as you were but I was almost there, I applaud you for taking control of your life and loosing the natural way. I can identify so well with have to buy the pricy "big gal" clothes which is sooooo depressing. I know where I live they have taken Lane Bryant out of 2 of the closet malls that are near me and I have to go out of my way if I want to shop there. I think that's definitely a sign for me to shape up. Plus I hate the fact that when I go to the mall I have to pass by all the cute regular sized clothing stores. I can't wait til the day I can shop at any store I want especially with my teen daughter. I'm always buying for her because I can never buy anything for myself but the tables are slowly turning.  I have been wanting to loose weight for several years and just didn't give it my all. I thought there was some "magic pill" I would eventually find to take it off but of course there is no such thing. Again thanks for your inspiring story and people like you give me the will power to keep fighting this weightloss battle.

What an inspiration you are! I read your story just as I was about to hang it up again - you kept me going! Thank you!!

Great Job,  You really inspire me!

What a great accomplishment.  And you're right: you can't lose weight for any reason other than YOURSELF!  And the shoe size co-worker didn't believe me when I told her my 50 pound weight loss also made my feet smaller LOL!  Good for you, girl.  It's so much easier to maintain than it was to lose it, but you have to stay on top of it.  It's worth it though!

Thanks for sharing!   I have had your philosophy on counting, remaining educated and accountable to yourself for life, yet I'm just six months in.  You've inspired and encouraged me to know it HAS to be a life long philosophy!  Thanks!

Congratulations.  Great tips, especially the one about not cheating yourself.  I used to snack on a few raisins and nuts in-between meals and not count them and then wonder why the scale would not budge. Count everything!!

Thanks for the inspiring story! Totally helps keeping me staying strong! Congratulations!

Original Post by: tdirpincess

Awesome, awesome work! Great tips as well! Thank you!!

I weigh myself every Tuesday and Friday, sometimes more, but those two days are the ones I count.

Thank you all so much. All these responses has brought tears to my eyes. I kind of find it hard to believe that its actually me who's done this, but here I am and I can't tell you how good it feels if I inspire even one of you to keep it up because its so worth it.

It doesnt change who you are, but it does change the way you feel about life.

Original Post by: sweetvalleygirl

Hi, You go girl!  What you did is no little feat! I have been a yo-you dieter all my life, I am determined  to get past it.  Just wondering, how often did you weigh yourself?

Ooops, sorry valleygirl, I meant to quote you...hehe, see above on how many times I weigh myself!


Also want to say a big 'well done!!!' to all of you who posted here who are now maintaining and still encouraging! 

It is always great to see others reach phenomenal results. I have lost 20lbs in my first 2 months of using this site. It makes people feel comfortable knowing there are so many others with similar goals. A couple of weeks ago I went through a breakup and I didn't log or control my eating habits for 2 days. I gained a couple pounds. I realized that I needed to look good for myself and not for someone else. I am back on track and now my lovely daughter is working out and eating right with me. Your success story has breathed fresh life into my motivations. Thanks and good luck in achieving your goals.

Nicely done, Sweet Pea!  You look amazing! 

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You do look great!! And happy!! Thank you so much for sharing your story.  I was close to my goal on CC several years ago, and then had an angiogram, which made it painful to walk.  And then the weight went on again.  So your story is a great inspiration to me.  Thanks again!

So much weight lost nice nice appreciable by all.,

but whats the use if the person looks like igor, after loosing the weight. Why are we just concenterated on loosing weight?

She looked so cute in the first photo. and her smile was so sweet.

Or may be there is some mistake, the lost weight photo isn't correct.

Or may be those igor folds will vanish after some months?

I love these success stories. Thanks for sharing, they are inspirational to anyone who is looking for motivation. When I was reading your blog I felt like you took words right out of my head in some spots :) It absolutely feels great! I DO agree!

You are truly inspirational. Your spirit and determination shines through. Great jobLaughing 

nice job, i like your advice, i have lots 17 lbs but struggling to lose more, its like i am stuck at this weight,  cannot past my 184 mark.  but like you said i will do it for me,  work harder to get where i want to be.  thanks

hallo, Do not be angry or sad by my comments. I saw sorry 100 times. I give you hug, kiss on cheek, a rose @}-}----------- . but I cannot lie with cute comments by knowing the lost numerical figures. I am an artist.

how many roses do you want? :) But I believe things shall get better and tighter in few months.

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Great job. It was like reading my story all they down to the days I weigh myself. I went from 275 to 210 in 6 months and it all started with CC. It is stories like this that keep me going!!! Thank you for sharing!!

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Wow... thanks for sharing your story. You look Fab-O!

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You are an inspiration, congrats on your weight loss, you definitely addressed some of my issues in your advice.  Thanks

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All of that is fantastic ... your weight loss and quitting smoking!  :-)  Congratulations to you girl.  You look good. :-)

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