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Calorie Count Blog

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

By Sheila on Jun 18, 2012 10:00 AM in Success Stories

This week's featured Success Story is all about pure willpower and determination.  Having been obese most of her life, Sanguinia chose to change her lifestyle by incorporating healthier foods and adding exercise.  All her changes led to a phenomenal weight loss of over 150 lbs.  Her story is a definite inspiration and a must read!

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?

After downing two 2-liters of soda per day and eating all the Fast Food I could get my hands on...I was diagnosed with PCOS, High Blood Pressure and Insulin Resistance all at once.  After yo-yoing since I became a teenager (I have been obese since I was 3 years old) I finally found that slow and steady wins the race!

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

All of I am sure many people of my starting size will tell you.  They are all fads and they make money when you fail!

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 completely cut out all beverages that contained calories as well as processed beverages with artificial sweetener.  In other words I drink water all the time.  Just that in itself garnered me a 30 lb weight loss in about 2 months!  That was the beginning.  Fast forward 6 years and I am now a vegan.  I took up exercise on the Wii and eventually was comfortable enough with myself to go out in public.  I now take yoga classes.  What really helped me achieve the weight I am now is education.  I started by picking up used nutrition textbooks (real nutrition books based on real science!) and then slowly finding other books by authors such as Michael Pollan and Marion Nestle they sit atop of my 'Food Hero List'.  Joining them on the list is Dr. Kelly Brownell from Yale University's Rudd Center.  I listen to his podcasts religiously.  Changed my life!

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

Calorie Count puts your food choices in black and white.  And let me tell you I was startled to see my original reports.  When I think about the food I ate to 'diet' back then compared to what I eat now - it's like my own little horror movie that has a really positive ending! Thank you Calorie Count!

5. What difficulties did you experience losing weight?

The points in time where I let go of all motivation and dedication.  Every time it proved to be detrimental and I always gained back a few pounds.  Sometimes you just don't want to think about it for a second and sadly seconds turn into days and days into weeks and before you know it, you've gained 10 pounds back!  It really is a lifelong battle, but I am determined to win and to stay the victor.

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

The moment I realized I had actually lost 12 whole sizes since my heaviest!  For me, that is 150 pounds lost so far.  I still have a bit to go, but I am determined to get there.  I am currently the same size I wore in first grade!  No joke, a size 16 in WOMENS.

7. How do you prevent relapse?

Fresh fruit and veggies have replaced cookies, 'diet' junk food, cheese, ice cream and fast food.  If I cannot combat a craving for something I try to find a vegan substitution.  For instance I had a real hankering for a sloppy joe.  I found a recipe that uses beans instead of meat!  They turned out pretty good!  Also, I had to fight off many food phobias.  If you were to tell me just 2 months ago that I would be eating and loving beans today, I would have bet a million dollars you were wrong!  I am slowly de-programming my brain to stop pre-judging foods before I've even tried them, a habit I picked up from my mother.  Over the last few weeks I tried beans, olives, mushrooms and asparagus all for the first time ever (I am 33) and I loved it all except the mushrooms, but I am even determined to keep trying those.

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

I am able to cross my legs now - something I have never been able to do my whole life.  I have always been a proud and confident person, but apparently I found out over the last year or so I was very unapproachable in grade-school and I seemed to have a chip on my shoulder.  I am now friends with several people whom I assumed didn't want to have anything to do with me simply because of my weight.  I was so wrong!

9. How long have you maintained your current weight?

I am still losing.  I have been steadily losing at least a pound a week for a very long time.

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

  • Educate yourself with real science!
  • Watch those processed foods!
  • Allow yourself to feel real hunger - it's in your throat, not your gut.
  • Cut out any sweetened or artificially-sweetened beverages.
  • Move your body.



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.



Well, put YOURSELF on your heroes list!!!    My mother became obese in her late 20's when my father contracted TB (it was the late 1930s).  Back then, one prescription for TB patients was to eat a lot of calories so as to avoid weight loss.  So mother made casseroles -- etc -- well, you get the picture. He was sick for 2-3 years (luckily, he fully recovered.)

She gained weight too, in the interim, and (perhaps in her worry), became (what I believe to be) addicted to sugar.  Pies, gingerbread, etc.   

Though a woman of intelligence, artistic talent, insight and competence in many things, she never overcame it.  I wish she had had Calorie-Count and your example.

Thanks for sharing.


Way to go!!!  You are doing great, keep up the good work.

Wow! Well done you. You're an inspiration. I've lost about 100 pounds so far and I've got another 60 to go.

Awesome and amazing! and INspiring!

Congratulations on your success!

Thank you:)

I just read your story , and you are amazing. You should be proud of yourself. I have been stuggling for the past couple of years just trying to lose 30lbs. it is tough, but people like you give me the motivation. I just turned 50 this year , and i am dtermined to be in the best health i have been in my life.I have been exercising and working out 6 days a week and i have lost 20lbs since January . that was after gaining probaly 10lbs between Christmas and my birthday in January. Exercise and diet rule that is the only answer. You got it right girl. Keep up the good work! :)


Congrats to you!  Inspiring story.  Best to you on your continued journey!

You're definitely on my hero list- plus you can fit in one of your old pants' legs! Amazing job! Definitely an inspiration, and a reminder of how the simplest of choices can make a huge difference.  Thank you for that and congratulations!!

Thank you for sharing your story - a true inspiration to keep me going on my quest to lose 100 pounds.  You are well beyond your years in wisdom and perseverance.  Good for you for breaking the cycle and taking charge of your own life.  I wish you the very best in reaching your goals and long successful future.   

great work, hope you can continue your focus and dedication.  I am trying to get there myself, I have a long way to go.  Your story is very encouraging.

Awesome story!!! Great work! I love your tips and ideas!!

Also, the losing motivation every so often hit home for me! Recently I've been going through a phase like that as well. Fortunately, I'm pulling in the reigns before I gain 10lbs. I've gained about 3 so far, so time to get going again!

Keep up the great work!!!

Original Post by: fluffydragon


WOW.. Good for you!

Wow!!! What an inspiration that goes way beyond the tremendous accomplishment of losing so much weight and persevering through the unavoidable hard times of pit's an accomplishment of transforming yourself from the inside out....recondiontiong your whole being...because your eating habits, choices and body size were formed at such a young's an accomplishment of Hercules size!! You have so much to be proud of!! This is something YOU did for you and your well being all on your own...amazing....inspiring beyond words...

just beautiful!

You are truly an inspiration for those who are struggling to keep it up over the long term. It's so easy to give up after a fall from the wagon and you are an example of someone who just climbs back on! I love your aversion to artificially sweetened drinks. Most people don't realize that studies show these cause weight gain, not loss, and encourage the brain's craving for sugar. I also love your point about allowing yourself to feel real hunger. Congratulations!

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Thank you all so very much! It means so much to me. (^_^)

You are definitely a hero on my list. I read your story and it gives me inspiration to continue to work hard to achieve my goal. Sometimes all you see is the success story and you wonder what's wrong with you that you can't get there too. The stories leave out the part about how much hard work and dedication you have to have to reach your goal. There are struggles along the the way with possible weight gain but the key is never to give up or get discouraged. Thank you for showing me that there are others that do struggle with this process but that there is a light at the end of the tunnel if you preserver. Congratulations on your well deserved success!

congratulations sheila! i am 71 and do personal training with really obese people as well as elderly because i so enjoy it. i no longer charge for my services as i do it 3 days a week only for my own enjoyment at helping people get healthy(and getting my workout in too at the same time). it takes a strong focused person to stick with it and lose the amount of weight you lost. no matter what anybody says, it takes dedicated work to lose weight and to maintain it. healthy eating and a dedicated exercise regime is needed for a life of continued health. keep at it girl!!

Congratulations!!!   You are a inspiration to all.  Smile

Congratulations! You really inspired me this morning. Best wishes on your continued success!

Congratulations! You are amazing! I strongly believe education is a key!

Congratulations! You look amazing and I love your journey. I am going through the same and you are inspiring to all of us!

wow and way to go!  Food hero list is awesome - going to add that podcast to my rotation!


(see my story and blog in the profile)

what an inspiration you are!!


Good advice and very well done. Enjoy the new you.

that is so wonderful. truly proud of you and believe to have a success story too

That is an amazing accomplishment and the fact that you did it without harmful drugs or surgery shows true grit and determination.  I am very impressed!  

Thank you, everyone!

That was so deep... I really appreciate the last few words of advice!!

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Awesome! Just love the fact that you've been plodding along victoriously for six years! This is a great inspiration for those of us (blush) who like things to be quick and over with so we can move on to the next thing. You show the way to permanent integration and forever success.

All thumbs up!

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Thank you so very much! :-)

This came at a good time for me - I needed a little "slow and steady wins the race" encouragement.  Congratulations, and thanks!

Your story is amazing. I love the slow and steady moto.

I love you for doing this and sharing your experiences. Success Stories is always motivating but yours is truly inspiring, not just the story but also your state of mind and approach to healthy living.

Thank you!

Way to GO!!  I have been "off the wagon" recently and your story is really inspiring.  I would like to drop 15-20lbs and find that daunting but for you to have lost 150,WOW, you are awesome!!  Thanks for sharing and keep up the healthy work

Thank you for sharing. You are full of awesome.

What an inspiration story!! You my dear are Awesomesauce!!!(the non fat kind!) lol

I also have PCOS, Carb intolerance, insulin resistance and Hypo Thyriod! I once weighed upwards of 340 lbs and now am at 197...30 more to my personal goal! Reading this triumph helps me know I can get there!


Hugs, Love and Vegetarian Substitutes!! :)

Thank you!

You go girl!!!  I love the imagery of that after photo. OuchWink!

Thank you so very much! heehee

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