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How I Turned My Life Around
Quincy was a fast food addict and one day in the drive-thru, after topping out over 300 pounds, he realized he needed to turn his car and his life around. With the help of Calorie Count and a healthy mindset, he's lost close to 100 pounds.
QuincyM contacted us through our Share Your Story feature and provided the following answers to our questionnaire. (The photo on the left shows him in May of last year at 300+ pounds, and the photo on the right is Quincy at his high school prom, down four pants sizes and three jacket sizes).
1. What prompted you to begin this weight loss journey? Did you have an "Aha!" moment?
I was a fast food addict. Breakfast, lunch, sometimes even dinner I would find myself in the drive thru. It started off as just a burger, a small fry, just something extra to add to my day. But over time, as the addiction took hold, I found that I was eating more and more, until one day I was three hundred pounds. I can remember sitting in a fast food parking lot, staring at the massive meal I had just eaten, when I realized, "I am killing myself", and that's when I decided to change, to really go for it.
2. What other "diets" (programs, products, plans, or services) had you tried in the past?
The big diet that I had always done was low-carb. I could lose twenty pounds in a matter of weeks, but my diet never improved, I would just be eating the same huge amount of food, and when my cravings for carbs came back, I couldn't maintain the diet, and would quickly regain the weight.
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?
Everything, everything had to change. I had never worked out before, never truly paid any true attention to what I was putting in my body, and what that meant. The first strategy, and the most important, was mental. It wasn't a diet, I wasn't dieting, I was changing my lifestyle, I was going to be a healthier person. I started slow, cutting out a few calories here and there, taking a walk. Then I discovered Calorie Count, and everything changed. I was forced to watch every calorie, plan out my day, and get out and exercise. I am now a frequent runner, and am about to finish a season on my school track team.
4. Please describe how Calorie Count was instrumental to your weight loss.
Calorie Count truly saved my life. When I first started, I had no idea what I was doing, and discovered how truly bad my diet had gotten. By meticulously logging every food, I learned how to eat healthier, found foods that were better for me, and was able to portion out my meals so that I could still have the foods I wanted, just in a safe amount. Reading the stories and what other people were eating helped me find recipes, ideas for meals, and how to live a different lifestyle, and recently I have gone vegetarian because it was so easy to find tips and tricks for doing it on CC.
5. What difficulties did you experience losing weight?
Doubt. It killed me. I was constantly questioning myself. The mental obstacles were far greater than the physical when it came to my weight loss. When people first started noticing it, I thought that my mom had emailed everyone and told them to mention it to me because I couldn't believe that I was doing it, I was losing weight, I was looking good, and feeling good. Another obstacle was the doubt of friends, when I told my "bros" that I was going out for track, I was often met with "you won't make it" or "you can't do that, you'll die". It became not just about finishing track to be healthy, but to prove them, and myself, wrong, because in the beginning, I didn't even think I could do it. Now, next week, I'll have finished the season.
6. How long did it take you to see results? When did you realize that you were a success?
Around three months in, the first couple comments came in, but never really about my weight. "That shirt looks nice on you" or "are those new pants". But then, all of the sudden, the pants, the shirts, they were all too big. Shirts that used to hug my stomach were now massive, I had to buy a completely new wardrobe. Now, within a week, I'll have lost one hundred pounds total, which is still unbelievable to me.
7. How do you prevent relapse?
It's all about support. My parents, my friends, my coach, and all of the amazing people on Calorie Count. My motivation is not only for myself, but for the people around me who care about me. They all want me to succeed, and when I relapse, I'm not only letting myself down, I'm letting them down. I also love what I eat now. I'm in truth not very restrictive, I enjoy mac and cheese, I love cheez its, I just find better lower fat options, or I have smaller portions.
8. How has your life changed now that you've lost weight?
I just feel amazing. Girls notice me, my energy is through the roof, and my outlook on the future is all positive. I'm excited now to go to the pool, to go on a date, to meet new people. My weight, it held me back. It kept me from being myself because I felt I had to constantly excuse myself as "the fat kid", but that is gone. Now, I can be confident in who I am.
9. How long have you maintained your current weight?
I am still losing weight. I began losing this past summer, and started using Calorie Count in November at 280 pounds, and am now finishing out April at 200.
10. What tips do you have for other dieters?
- It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle change! Diets end, your lifestyle doesn't. In the beginning, it seems like you're restricting yourself, but soon, the healthy eating sets in, and it feels great!
- Don't be too restrictive, you have needs. Sometimes YOU NEED A CHEESEBURGER. We've all been there! Portion it out and ENJOY it.
- Have a support group, ask your friend to help you stay on track.When I first started, my friends helped to make sure I was working out, eating right, and also gave me the support I needed to get it done.
- Help others! I can't express how much reading stories on CC and commenting and helping has helped myself!
- Realize that weight loss takes time, but one day, you will get that compliment, that look, someone will notice, and you'll know that all the hard work is worth it.
If you would like us to feature your success story, you can submit it here, or Tweet at Us, or let us know about your progress on Facebook. The most insightful stories will be featured on this blog and in the weekly "Success Stories" newsletter.