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Calorie Count Blog

Smiling Up a Storm

By Sheila on Mar 22, 2010 12:00 PM in Success Stories

Jrodrigues16 managed to lose 41 pounds and made permanent changes to her lifestyle after adjusting her way of thinking about her body image. Here she describes the nutritional aspects of her own weight loss program, her exercise habits, and what motivates her to stay on track.

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?

I have always been a bit overweight, and I used to blame my big bones for it. My first OMG moment came when I took a photo of myself in a bathing suit and took all my measurements in May of 2008 (176.5 lbs). I promptly joined Bikini Boot Camp, yet I ended up gaining weight there. I simply wasn't eating any different or applied any portion control, so I never really knew how much I was eating.

I ended up injuring my ankle severely with a 3rd degree sprain and had to stop working out. I got really depressed with my body image as I felt like nothing was working. So at a hefty 186 lbs in December I hated my picture being taken (those of you that know me would be shocked because I love photos - always have). So when I was looking back at my photos from Christmas I was shocked to see just how bad I let myself go. I knew I was fat, but I didn't realize "how big" I had become. I was upset and then I decided to try one more thing.

I joined Calorie Count and started tracking my eating habits - and that was it. I was shocked to see just how much I was eating per day and how bad the food was that I was eating. No wonder I was gaining so much weight. I had signed up to the daily newsletter, and honestly it was awesome getting all the inspirational stories and recipes and tips. Who knew one day I would be writing one as well!

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

I always tried to think I was eating healthy and tried to start diets, but I never followed through. I used to just exercise a lot and think that would make up for what I was eating. I tried Bikini Boot Camp in Calgary which was awesome for getting into shape, but I never followed a proper eating plan when I was on it. I bet if I went in it now I would be totally toned up! That’s my next step.

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

Everything! I replaced all pastas and white rice with brown rice & brown rice pasta. I eat fresh vegetables more than I ever did and make home-made soup loaded with tons of veggies. I try to have soup every day. I try to eat less processed foods and watch the calorie, fat,  and sodium ratio in foods. I drink tons of herbal tea - everything from green to ginger, it's all delicious with 0 calories! I also try to drink more water and try to have 3 liters a day. Finally, I walk from home to work 1 hour a day and find it amazing how this has helped tone my legs!

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

Calorie Count helped me be accountable for what I ate. I could log on and keep track and it kind of became my golden rule. I love the recipes and loads of information. I am able to quickly log on at work or home and input my information for all of the foods that I eat. Thanks to this site I was able to complete my goal! It has been a long journey I will never have to go back to feeling the way I did last Christmas. This Christmas I will be taking photos and smiling up a storm with my new and improved body and confidence.

5. What was most challenging about losing weight?

The most challenging aspect of losing weight was realizing that I was big and accepting my body was the way it was, and that I needed to work hard to get to my goal. I let go of my guilt for gaining the weight. I realized that I have to love my body and in time I will learn to love it even more. It was difficult, but I have felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. Nothing can compare to when you set a goal and achieve it! I watched my weight melt off me and the best part is I did it without exhausting myself with exercise - I just changed how I ate and what I ate.

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

It was about 1.5 lbs per week, with some weeks resulting in no loss and others in 2-3 lbs. Let me tell you - I am really noticing the difference that losing 41 lbs makes.  I just took my after photos and I cannot believe the results!

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

When I started to lose weight I was just trying to get down to a healthy normal BMI. When I finally reached it, I was so amazed that I did want my weight loss to stop. I have gone down from a size 34 jeans to a size 30-29! I put an old pair of my jeans on and they fell off! I have gone from a large shirt to a medium and sometimes even a small! I even went down in my rib cage from a 38 C to a 34 C. These were breathtaking moments for me!

8. How do you prevent relapse?

I monitor my food intake on weekdays and allow myself to have fun on the weekends. I now want to start exercising to tone and maintain my weight. I have an old picture and an old pair of pants I use to wear to remind me of how I felt and how big I was. I feel so much more confident and happy now, and nothing is going to take this feeling away from me! Staying at a healthy weight is healthy and I want to keep it that way. I also find I am a lot less stressed that I don’t have to feel so guilty and fat anymore. Whenever I needed motivation, I would read articles and success stories on Calorie Count and just keep plugging away.

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

I am healthier and more confident.  I am a better fiancé and person. I am becoming the person I use to dream about being comfortable in my own body. Not to mention I have been getting compliments to the nines about how great I look.

10. What tips do you have for other dieters?

  • Sign up to Calorie Count - it's my life saver!
  • Baby steps - you will get there in time.
  • Don't be embarrassed about your diet.
  • Let your family and friends be supportive.


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.


i currently weigh 180lbs and justed my calorie count. its quite difficlt but im determined to carry it through...n reading your success story, and seeing how gorgeus you look, i will not quit!whenever al feel like quiting, al just remember you..ur my inspiration.thnxlSmile

Aww, you are so cute, and inspiring. Your story reminds me so much of mine. Started around the same weight, injured myself working out (was also still eating bad) and finally got on here. What a difference counting calories makes.

Best of luck to you in maintenance. 

ps- love the dress on you, you look so hot!

you are so pretty. you look like Amy Adams from the movie Enchanted. you really are an inspiration.

Congrats on your weight loss and life style change. So glad you are where you are about weight and exercise and nutrition at a young age. These success stories inspire me so very much.  I am going to be 54 and have been up and down the scale my whole life. Basic calorie counting, good nutrition and exercise are the only way.  I want to lose between 35 and 40 pounds and MAINTAIN forever.  The older you get the MORE important good nutrition and exercise are to your well-being. I had been treadmilling consistently 3-5 miles per day and was losing the first 3 weeks- and also not cheating at all- 1200-1300 cal per day - well - at the end of the 4th week I GAINED 2 lbs! UGH! I continued to exercise and count calories and upped my intake a bit and lost another 1.5---  Thanks for your story and best of luck.

you are really beautiful! Well done! I feel the same when I look at my photos like you did! Hope I can lose my weight! Going to do some exercises right now!Cool

Well done girl - you look gorgeous. How long did it take you to lose the weight?



This sounds wonderful, but it is making me even more despondent!  For the last week, I have been logging, honestly, all my daily foods, but not even one pound has come off.  Last year when I signed up I was I am 188.  Earlier in the week, I dipped to 185...but now it is back! I make sure I am under my goal calorie intake, I have been doing exercise and the scale is not MOVING!  The same for my husband!  He thinks we are building muscle...but we do not work out enough for that!

What are we doing wrong?  Are we not eating enough calories?  (BTW, I did not put in this weekend's calories...but I know they were VERY low...)

Gurl you look awesome....Congratulations!!!! Keep rocking

I take medication with the side effect of weight gain.  Four to be exact.  I am doing Calorie Count and working out 5 days a week.  I have been doing this since March 2nd and have not lost a pound!  I would be open to any suggestions with help in dealing with this frustrating endeavor.  I have 100 pounds to lose.  Going off of the medication is not an option due to my health problems.  Any suggestions?

I have enjoyed reading your blog, I feel connected to you through your story. I am a big boned person and have always put in my mind the same thing as you did.  I startet Calorie Count in July of last year I weighed in at 195.  I have been able to drop 20 pounds. I still have a goal to loose 30 more.  Reading your story will give me the inspiration I need to keep on track and make it happen. Thank you for sharing. It is a journey but a well worth it one.

Oh by the way thank you and you look wonderful. I will get there soon.

Good job! you looking hot! These stories is what keeps me motivated. Thanks for sharing.

nice story. glad this is something that has changed your life! :)


Congratulations - you look amazing!! If you are still in Calgary, you should consider checking out Alive personal training! It's in Mission (in the Holy Cross centre), and the tough but always entertaining classes combined with a really supportive environment are how I dropped my 40-ish pounds (along with tracking my eating and nutrition of course).

Thanks for sharing your story!


Congrats on your success! My fantasy weight is to be 180. Hopefully by next year I can make it there.

to bestephens:

Don't weigh yourself everyday, your weight fluctuates daily, pick a day and time of day each week, and ONLY weigh yourself then. 

Also, don't under calorie yourself or your body may put you on hold.  If your intake is too low, your body shuts down.

Eat healthy and exercise, it will come off!

OMG, you look fabulous! You go girl! Very inspirational...

Good job!  You look terrific, and even more important than how you look, the joy of your success literally bounces off the page.  Congratulations.

Congratulations!  This is a great story!  

Nothing against some of the other great stories we see in this space each week, but I really think they should be centered around successes directly related to this website, like this story is.  

I felt the story from last week was great, but it sounded like Calorie Count was a very minor part of the success.

When I tell my story (so far lost 16lbs in 6 weeks since joining) it will be ALL about Calorie Count and how tracking what I'm eating really opened my eyes to portion sizes etc.   This has been relatively easy for me as I'm eating whatever I want, just in the right amounts now compared to before where I did a lot of mindless eating. 

I love this website!!

Good luck everyone-


Thank you for sharing your story.  You look terrific.  I love this web site, too, as it has helped me lose 45 lbs.  I want to lose about 15-25 more.  I am in the "normal" body weight range now, but still feel pretty flabby.  I am on a plateau, but am not giving up!  Hopefully, I'll share my story one day :)

What a difference the support one can find on here makes! 

Wow what a great story!

Thanks for sharing and inspiring me to stick to it!

Great Job!  Congrats on all of your hard work!  I have been on my weight loss challenge since december of this year - I have lost 28lbs so far but I have since hit a road block!  Even though I am going to the gym 5 days a week - I have stopped loosing like I was earlier...It is so good to read your story and see how beautiful you look.  It is inspiring me to keep on with my journey!  30 more pounds for me!

Original Post by: deepi10

Gurl you look awesome....Congratulations!!!! Keep rocking

Congrats, you look AMAZING!!Kiss I am almost there..just 15lbs untill I reach my goal!!

I feel compelled to simple say - thank you for sharing :D

I love your earnesty answers and straight forward acceptance that it`s hard work but slow and steady will get you there in due time! I will remember your patience on days I find myself frustrated and know that i too can do it. Thanks for the inspiration!

Hi. congratulations on your success! I was wondering did you do any regular exercise besides the walks??

You may want to have your thyroid checked. It is impossible to lose weight if you are hypothyroid. Just a thought and inexpensive blood test.MK

Inspirational story :)

I absolutely love that blue dress! Great job.

great steps and nice result keep on Wink


you are a star now 

Original Post by: beagonz1

I have enjoyed reading your blog, I feel connected to you through your story. I am a big boned person and have always put in my mind the same thing as you did.  I startet Calorie Count in July of last year I weighed in at 195.  I have been able to drop 20 pounds. I still have a goal to loose 30 more.  Reading your story will give me the inspiration I need to keep on track and make it happen. Thank you for sharing. It is a journey but a well worth it one.

this is to beagonz1, you may want to talk to your doctor about your med's and see if there isn't a way around the weight gain that these medications cause.

Thank you everyone who congratulated me and all your kind beautiful words!

I must say seeing all of the replies and having personal messages about others and there journeys made me feel proud to help inspire and say yes it is possible! I wish you all the very best in your journeys!



You look Mar-ve-lous Dah-ling. Congratulations. Thanks for sharing you have totally inspired me.

Wow you look amazing. 40 pounds is my goal too and let me tell you , you are a true inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing your story!!

I, too, had a week where I exercised like crazy and ate very well not cheating at all and gained 2 lbs.  Today, though, I put on a pair of jeans I have not been able to wear for the past 2 years!!! Keep the faith.

You ROCK!  I can't imagine being 16 and having your maturity and willpower to overcome such an obstacle.  What you have done should be an inspiration to all others near your age, you have shown them what it takes to master yourself.


Awesome!  I love a success story.

Wow, that's amazing.

Definitely motivated me!

Also, Congratulations!


I love your story. I joined CC 2 weeks now and its very motivting for me to read these success stories. Congrats

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