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Smiling Up a Storm
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.