Yes I Can, Yes I Will
69lbs lighter, lsk1022 attributes Calorie Count as her major factor in her lifestyle and weight loss change. She has educated herself that “food is not about emotions, but fuel!” Her story is very inspirational and she shares many motivating tips from her journey!
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?
Several "Aha!" moments prompted me to lose weight. Going clothes shopping with my mom, and realizing she was only one size bigger than me was pretty devastating. A friend telling me to look at some pants because they were too big for everyone else was pretty hurtful. Seeing an old friend and him spewing out his coke when I say something about having kids making me big, was painful. But the moment that I finally said, "Yes I can, Yes I will," was when I didn't recognize my friend from behind because of her weight loss. That's when I said, "If she can, so can I."
For the longest time I had used PCOS and being told that I would need knee surgery if I ran as an excuse not to be active. I haven't always been overweight. I gained a lot of weight after I got married. The first year into my marriage, I gained 45 pounds. Then, I gained even more after having our son.
2. What other "diets" (programs, products, plans, or services) had you tried in the past?
Well, before I started this, my husband wanted to do the Atkins diet, but that only lasted for a week. Besides, it wasn't "my idea". Other than that, I never dieted because I've never believed in it. I've watched people do the fad diets all my life, and they never kept the weight off.
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?
My entire life has changed. I'm active instead of sedentary and I eat much better. Not because I'm dieting, but because when you use Calorie Count and the analysis, you realize what's in food, and you just naturally start making better decisions. I just gradually started substituting here and there, like instead of mac n' cheese, I would cook fresh vegetables. I read labels all the time and I strongly believe that knowledge gives you the most power in this battle. I started out this journey having a difficult time walking 1 mile. Now, I'm up to running 10 miles. With the help of free online run schedules, I worked my way up to running my first 5k in September 2010 and my first 10 mile run was completed September 2011.
From May 2010 to March 2011, I had only lost 20 pounds. But since March, I have lost almost 50 pounds with the help of a spreadsheet I built that put all of the information I found here on Calorie Count in one place. With this spreadsheet, I know how much I have to move and eat in order to lose the weight. Also, it has helped me to avoid the dreaded plateau.
The most important change you can make is to move and to be aware of what you are eating. Food is no longer all about emotions. I know food is fuel. When I put good food in, I get great performance out.
4. Please describe how Calorie Count was instrumental to your weight loss.
Calorie Count was and is the key to my weight loss. CC is where I went to log my food, make sure I was eating nutrient rich foods, and get all my numbers for my spreadsheet. Also, I like how I can look at all the charts and see my weight loss progress and so many other great tools.
5. What difficulties did you experience losing weight?
The first 9 months were awful. I felt like I was spinning my wheels. I never knew if I would lose or gain when I stepped on the scale. I was moving more, but the progress was really slow. I had only lost 20 pounds! Once I had my "Aha!" moment and built my spread sheet, the rest of the weight practically fell off.
There are two factors in weight loss, exercise and food. I could do the exercise. Not because it was easy, but just because I only faced that challenge for 30 minutes to an hour everyday. Food has been the biggest obstacle for me. It's everywhere. Plus, I figured out through this that I was battling food addiction. I didn't respect food, but rather I abused it. This will be a battle for the rest of my life. I just have to remember to keep food in its place. Although, with that said, I won't use the word "diet." I refuse to diet. I have simply discovered that all things in moderation works just fine. Mostly because you won't be taking my chocolate from me.
6. How long did it take you to see results? When did you realize that you were a success?
It took 30 pounds before anyone else could see results. But for me, I noticed immediately. Of course, that had everything to do with me going from leading a sedentary lifestyle to an active lifestyle. One big moment was when I had lost about 20 pounds and I was able to get down on all fours and chase my son around the floor. That was huge. I could finally move.
I felt like a success about 3 months ago. I took a picture of myself and for the first time, I actually looked thin.
7. How do you prevent relapse?
Well, there is a picture of us in June 2010 on the fridge next to my workout schedule. When I want to skip, I just glance at that picture and remember what it was like to be that big. Also, I started this for me, but it has positively affected my husband (who has lost 30 pounds) and my son.
8. How has your life changed now that you've lost weight?
There is nothing in my life that has been left untouched by my weight loss. My marriage is revamped, my son will grow up seeing exercise as a way of life, we eat better, and we move more. And one thing no one mentions is FEET! My feet were disgusting when I was big. But now that I've lost a bunch of weight, my feet are nice and smooth again. I also remember the first time I got in the car and actually had room to readjust my bottom instead of being stuck where I sat. I can move! I felt so immobile before. I can crawl around picking up toys; I am no longer out of breath all the time. I was just so tired of being exhausted all the time. Now I have so much more energy.
9. How long have you maintained your current weight?
Since the beginning of October.
10. What five tips do you have for other dieters?
- Self educate yourself on what you are consuming and you will naturally start changing what you are eating.
- MOVE! I don't care what you do, just move more. Do something that burns calories.
- Take pictures of yourself. The mirror is a huge deceiver. Not just pictures, but unflattering, straight on pictures to help you get motivated.
- Do it for you and it will have a positive impact on everything else.
- Avoid drinking your calories. (Water and unsweetened tea are good options.)
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.