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Calorie Count Blog

Stronger Than I've Ever Been

By Sheila on Jan 31, 2011 10:00 AM in Success Stories

Viewing her weight loss journey as a change in lifestyle rather than a diet has helped Jaefuma lose over 140lbs.  By using Calorie Count, she found new ways to control her calorie intake and learn more about nutrition. She now really enjoys leaning on her CC friends for support.

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? Did you have an "Aha!" moment?

I've always struggled with my weight as long as I can remember. My "Aha!" moment was in my freshmen year, I realized that in a year or two, I'd be going to Japan. I'm already tall, but I knew it was going to be a bad experience to be tall and fat in a country so known for being so small. Also, after taking a good look at myself and what I had become, I felt stupid, fat, and disgusting for letting food affect me so much. I was upset because I looked the way I did (and still do) because of food. I just couldn't let it control me anymore. A week or two later, I found this site, a few weeks after that, I finally weighed myself. After picking myself out of my well of self pity, I wiped away my tears and got to work. Haven't looked back since.

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

I tried Weight Watchers, the "5 Day Diet," and the Liquid Diet.

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

I decided to make lifestyle changes instead of just looking for a diet. I wanted this to last forever, and I didn't want to have to start over once the diet was done. I made exercise a must, and I also took a good look at the food I was eating, and stopped feeling guilty when I made mistakes.

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

I could count calories! It's was a lot less intimidating to be able to just say, "stay under this number" when starting out. Then I could tweak it as needed. And I love the Community. There's always someone out there to lend a hand.

5. What was most challenging about losing weight?

How long it takes. We're in a world that has magazines littered with "Lose # pounds in # days!" It was really hard for me to take my weight loss slowing down, and plateaus. Pushing through all that was (and is) very hard for me.

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

I started losing weight as soon as I started because I was so large. I personally didn't notice anything until recently, because that's when I started picking new clothes.

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

Well, it's right before my trip to Japan, and I realized I was a success when I could sit around my peers and not stick out as that "fat girl" and because I was proud of myself for something other than my weight loss. I know I have more to go, but I'm stronger than I've ever been, and I can do so much more. I know more about nutrition, and I'm proud of myself for what I've done.

8. How do you prevent relapse?

I don't start the cycle of food guilt. I go out with friends from time to time, I eat pizza, and I eat chocolate. By doing this doesn't mean I've failed. I just start again at the next meal. 

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

Well, I can't hide anymore. Not being able to do something or being "unpopular" can't be linked to my weight (as much anyway). I've taken responsibility for myself and I'm more accountable for my actions. I still know how far I have to go, but how far I've gone keeps me moving forward. Plus, I can go into stores and not feel like such an outsider.

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

  • Don't overwhelm yourself. Take it one day at a time, one change at a time. No one changes 100% overnight.
  • Don't stop trying. Weight is a fickle beast. It can stop and stall, go up and down, but don't let that be your reason for stopping. It'll be worth it in the end.
  • Do not make yourself feel guilty for wanting food or eating food. Good food still exists. It's okay to eat it and it doesn't mean you're a bad person for doing so. You can always start again with the next meal. And don't punish yourself for it!
  • Making exercise a must. Find something you like, but get out there and move. It helps with more than just weight loss.
  • Have fun with yourself now. Everyone puts things off for "when they lose weight," but you'll be making yourself miserable. Live everyday you have to the fullest.


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 on your success.  For some reason I get the sense that you are still putting yourself and the your tremendous efforts down.  I know it takes time to get over how you use to be and focus on the now.  From the pictures you provided, I wouldn't be able to pick you out of a line-up.  Keep going and you will be at your perfect weight...however that will not automatically have you at perfect happiness.  Take stock in your accomplishment and continue to work on yourself.  Again congrats!

That is AMAZING :D I stopped because of plateaus and Ive never really met anyone on here thats supported me much. Or maybe its because im a bit of a hermit and dont know how to get social.....either way, seeing your story about not being guilty for lapsing one day and starting afresh on the next really got me motivated again. Thanks so much :D

Congratulations!:) You look amazing, and kudos to you for overcoming such a difficult challenge. You should be so proud of yourself.


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You look amazing and I'm sure feel that way as well!  It's so wonderful you've found what works, a realistic approach!  Congrats, congrats, congrats!  You are beautiful inside and out!

You go girl! Thanks for sharing your story.Smile

Thanks for sharing Shelia. Fixing to get moving like you said.

Way to go girl.  Good for you.  And thanks for sharing.  Your story helped me to.  We all will fall off the wagon sometimes.  No sense to make more out of it than it is, get up and get back into the swing of things the next day and you'll be the better for it.   YOU are living proof of that.  I plan to be there in a few months.  Notice, it's not I hope to be there, it's I will be there.  It won't be my perfect weight but it will be close, and it will be a new clothes size.  Yes, I can do it.  :)

First of all CONGRATULATIONS, you look fab :)

Secondly how is it you got to be so wise at such a young age? I am so impressed with your five tips, that I am copying them to keep at my desk so I can refer to them when ever I need to.

Thank you so much for sharing, you have really helped me on a day I needed help x

Congrats!  140!  WOW!  Way to keeped committed!  You should be so proud!

I have lost 125 so far and your story is very motivational!  Congrats again!


link to my blog and story in my profile

I'm with rosl...your tips are motivating and I've printed a copy for work and home!! Thank you and you look MAHVELOUS!!! Cool

These are the best tips I've read on this site. Excellent job!!! You look fabulous. Thanks for sharing your story!!!


Thank you for posting your story and sharing it.  I know exactly what you've gone through and your inspiring us with struggles and achievements have really hit home with me.

I too have printed out your tips as a great reminder to put on my desk and I will be sharing it with my group at the Wharton Weight Loss Clinic.  

You are absolutely right about "Live everyday you have to the fullest"!

Keep up the great work! Kiss

Your story is so inspirational! I love how you look at this as a process, a new way of living. Congrats on your successful journey to good health! Also instead of regretting your past, I think it can be used (and obviously is being used) as a motivator, helping others know they can do this too...... One day at a time and making sure the "present" is truly a present you give yourself.

You're rad. That's all, just had to say it. Congrats!

Kudos, Congratulations, and You Go Girl!!!  It's always interesting to find out what motivates some of us to take the first step to change.  I love that you hold yourself accountable but are still realistic about some food temptations... knowing however that you have overcome them and they no longer control you is the biggest reward.  Enjoy your trip and continue your life long healthy lifestyle!!!  

Hey i know that girl :) YOU DID IT JAEFUMA!

CONGRATULATIONS!  That is absolutely awesome!!!  You have done SO well, and you look GREAT!  You are an inspiration to me as I recently started my journey of losing 55 pounds.  Thank you for sharing your story--way to go!

Your story of success and your reasonable attitude about everything along the way and as you go through life is very refreshing and motivational!  Congratulations on your hard work and success.  I am so happy for you. 

Wow, that is amazing, congratulations!!!

You look great! and your story really helped me. I am trying to make lifestyle changes too and not really go by a diet. Making better food choices. The next step (like you said changes don't happen all over night) is to start exercising (get moving because it helps in more ways than one). Thank you for the inspirational story and I am happy for your success and ability to share how you did it with others.

Recently finished losing my goal 100lbs, and I identify with SO MUCH that you said-- particularly about not sticking out as "that fat girl." CONGRATULATIONS... you look absolutely fabulous, and your mindset says to me that you're somebody who's not gonna be going back. *throws a little dance party for ya before you head off to Japan* You're going to have so much fun discovering your new self on a new continent and a new country. Enjoy-- you so deserve it!

I just watched a very motivating program on TV last night called Heavy and the ladies on the show lost 110 and 91 pounds in just 6 months.  I'm not in that big a hurry, but to see it done with eating right and exercise was just amazing to me.  It made me feel much more hopeful.  I would love to lose that kind of weight even if it took me a couple of years since I don't have as much time to dedicate to working out and need to be careful not to overdo it and cause an arthritis flare up.  People on Calorie amaze me all the time but to see this physical transformation on the program last night was just so impactful.  Congratulations to all of you out there who have had such great success so far.  I hope to join your ranks some day in the not too distant future. 


I love that you say "start again at the next MEAL".  Not the next day or the next week, the next meal.  Really good advice.

Thanks for sharing your story and congrats on your fantastic success! 

Great story!

Congratulations! You look awesome!

I hope to have a happy ending as well.

congrats girl!! You did it!! I am inspired...Smile

WOW!  Such wise words you have chosen to share.  Thank you so much for telling your story.  I really appreciate how kind you are to yourself - it serves as a big reminder for me to do the same.  Congratulations on your success!  Keep up the good work :)

Work it , work it.....You should be extremely proud of your dedication and hard work. Enjoy you time in Japan and your new healthy weight and lifestyle


Congratulations!! Your story is truly motivating..

This was indeed motivating, keep it up.....

You have surely motivated me! It is awesome to see someone with the same struggles and to come through by persevaning and sticking with it! Not beating yourself up. We fall but we also get up and continue. Thank you so much! I will too have an inspiration story that will help someone else. I look ahead to the results. God bless you!

I know my response is a year late, but this was very inspiring, and just what I need right now. Congratulations on your success.

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