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Calorie Count Blog

Yes I Can, Yes I Will

By Sheila on Nov 07, 2011 10:00 AM in Success Stories

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.


Hi, Congrats and you look great.  I am also intersted on you spreadsheet and some tips of what to eat in  areguler day. i seem to have issues balancing what I eat.

Keep it up!! You are inspiring.

very inspirational story!  i've also gained weight after marriage and pregnancy that i'm having a difficult time letting go of.  i'm also very interested in seeing how your spreadsheet helped you =)

you look wonderful! thank you for sharing your story. 

Thank you for sharing your story you are so right the reason I started working out is I also saw a recent phot of me at a babyshower I bought a new top and "thought" I looked lie about the mirror being a liar I didn't see my stomach popped out in the mirror but I could definately see how round it was int he picture looked like I was pregnant. I would also love to see your spreadsheet I have been battling with my weightloss for 25 yrs since childhood am now just looking into feeling healthy and loving what I see in the mirror everyday.

Congrats!!!! You look wonderful. Wow. I have fallen off the bandwagon. I have 30 lbs. to lose, I feel it is impossible. Stories like yours really show me that I can do it. Thank you. Keep up the good work. Also it would be great if you could let us know what is on the spreadsheet. Please! Please! Please! I think you have a lot of us excited about this spreadsheet.

You look great.  I am interested in the spreadsheet.  Are you able to give more details about how you set it up.  Thanks

I am so inspired by your story.  Thanks for sharing the spreadsheet.  I am going to give it a try and will let you know my progress.Smile is the website to the spreadsheet

*********THANKS  lsk1022 ALOT******************

I've had multiple requests for my spreadsheet. Sorry it's taking me so long to respond. I've been trying to make it easily accessable. So, I created a website that gives you a link to download it, and also a tutorial video is available to watch on So, check out the website and if you have any issues with the spreadsheet, just let me know.

Original Post by: annetbol

Congratulations!  You look marvelous!  Thank you for sharing your story, it's very encouraging and motivating.  One thing that I've always wanted to do is jog.  I would like to incorporate jogging into my daily work outs but find myself too embarrassed and self conscious whenever I get on the treadmill at the gym.  I usually end up "just" walking.  It's really weird and very frustrating.  Did you experience any jogging shyness when you started out?  Also, if you don't mind sharing which site helped you when you started out jogging? 

Again, congrats on your success and thanks for sharing your inspirational story.


I was super embarrassed as well, so I would run in the dark, or so early in the morning that no one was up yet. But, I found that a lot of the people around here are super encouraging. I remember one day I was finishing up my 2 mile run (I'd only lost 20 at this point) when a little old lady was in her yard (I'd never seen her) and I wanted to quit because I was going up the "nemisis" hill. Anyhow, she stops and told me, "You're losing weight." It made the rest of that hill feel easy. Also, not too long ago, a local barber stopped me and asked how much I'd lost. He told me he remembered when I first started. He said that everyone was so proud of me and to keep it up.

Point being, you may not realize it, but you are probably an inspiration to someone. So keep doing it, because someone might be watching and rooting for you in the background.

I love Hal Higdon's website for getting running schedules. They look intimidating, but you will be in awesome shape and feeling really good in no time.

Original Post by: nikkya


U look great. With CC i lost around 17 pounds in 5 months, I feel light and great.

I want to run 10 k in 1 year currently I can do 5k. Need help can you post the free running guide somewhere and can you please share your spreadsheet to give me insight into your daily plans. I will not copy it but want some more inspiration. The last thing is what was your weight when you started and what is it now.

Thanks for inspirational blog.


For running, check out

He has training schedules for everyone. Novice to Experienced, 5k to Marathon. He may even have more that I can't remember right off hand.

I've had lot's of requests for the spreadsheet, so I figured I'd make that available at

I started at 211, and I'm currently at 141. In the above photo, I was 145.

Original Post by: sugarsinger

lsk1022, your story is a wonderful testimony to having a plan, logging it, and sticking to it!  You look gorgeous -- you could be a model now!  Thank you for your inspiring revelations and tips!  I have 94 pounds still to go, to reach my goal, and your stury really gives me courage to "keep on keeping on". 

It looks as though you have generated widespread interest in your use of a spreadsheet!  I have been using spreadsheets myself, coincidentally, and have several of them going -- one to log the progress of my weight loss, another to log the foods I've had and the times, and the calories, and so on.  It's a creative way to keep yourself motivated -- I use all different colors for different columns, etc. 

Thanks again, for your great story -- and the inspiring pictures of a truly beautiful lady!

lol, you sound like me. I have the colored columns too! :) I also built a spreadsheet to reassess my goals automatically each month so I stayed on track to hit my final target. My husband laughs at me because he says I have a chart for everything.

Original Post by: jgreen39

I too have used PCOS as an excuse for not losing weight. It definitely doesn't help when my doctor tells me it's impossible to lose weight if I don't take medication and cut out carbs! I personally believe in balance and that cutting anything out completely or almost completely is not healthy! I am so glad you have been successful, this gives me faith that I can do it too! Thanks for sharing your story, you're very inspiring! Also, might I ask if you used any medications for PCOS to help with the weight loss? I tried a couple but hated the side effects and so I quit using them.

Actually, my doctor put me on a low estrogen BC to regulate my cycle. She told me that if I didn't take it I would end up with cervical cancer. Well, I'm not a doctor, and I'm not going to recommend this. But what I did, for my own reasons, was I got off BC a year ago because I hated it. I hated how I felt. I'm on nothing now. I take a multi vitamin and vitamin c for my knees. That's it. My cycle has been perfect for the last year and I don't have the PCOS symptoms. I think, considering the people I know that have PCOS, it seems to me that there is a common factor with all of  them. They are all women who have had a recent rapid weight gain. I'm not saying that's all women with PCOS, I'm just saying that is the common factor with the few that I know personally.

Comment Removed

Website has been deleted due to missuse. I will not promote unhealthy lifestyles or undereating. Because my tool was being used in this fashion, it is no longer available. My sincerest apologies. Unfortunately, I will not give it out any more.

Original Post by: annetbol

Congratulations!  You look marvelous!  Thank you for sharing your story, it's very encouraging and motivating.  One thing that I've always wanted to do is jog.  I would like to incorporate jogging into my daily work outs but find myself too embarrassed and self conscious whenever I get on the treadmill at the gym.  I usually end up "just" walking.  It's really weird and very frustrating.  Did you experience any jogging shyness when you started out?  Also, if you don't mind sharing which site helped you when you started out jogging? 

Again, congrats on your success and thanks for sharing your inspirational story.


I started running about 2 years ago by running 3 minutes then walking 3 minutes for about 30... I have now run 2 half marathons and just started training for a full!  I run outside, but i remember being embarrassed about how I looked running too.  Then I thought about how much better I will look when I get good at this and loose the weight! I have a mental picture of me at 120 lbs and running a sub 10min/mile marathon, how cool would that be? I'd look so hot, lol!   Also, maybe it is just the community where I live, always get encouraging remarks and not negative ones. I know when i see someone who looks like they are just starting out, I am just so proud of them for getting out there and doing it! I have hated running my entire life, if I can do it, you can too!


lsk1022 & mholderr,

Thanks for the running tips!  lsk1022, I never thought about the fact that I could be inspiring someone else as I get out there and jog.  Also, I never thought about how "positive" and "encouraging" others may be.   Instead of repulsed at seeing me painfully, waddling down the street at a snail's pace, sweating profusely and struggling to breathe. Surprised

I guess that's the negative image that I have in my head, which is probably why I had a problem "trying" to start jogging.  I need to focus on the benefits.

Also, mholderr, I think that walking/jogging 3 minutes alternately on the treadmill is an excellent way for me to begin also.  That way I can get comfortable jogging before I take it to the streets (don't wanna scare my neighbors just yet). 

Wow! You look great!  Thanks so much for sharing your story.  How inspiring...It has help me to get going again...

Wow!  What a great JOB!!  You really deserve all the great things that will happen to you because you care about you, and have the will power to hang in there.  I feel for your feet and know how very much this means to us all.  I don't want to not take care of feet because they have carried me all of my life.  It is such an inspiration to read how things have worked for you, I am going to get my foot tub out, put some nice warm water in it with a little sea salt, and wash my feet.  It really does feel GREAT!!.  Thank you again for another great day.:)  aea

you look fabulous!!! i too have pcos, and i have also used that as something to hide behind for a long time but i am ready to do something about my weight and truly start living instead of making it day to day!!!! congrats on your success!!!!


Yes I can, Yes I will - how beautiful to say and to know that there is enough belief in this one group to work miracles.  My friend will need to have a surgery and I know you will all have great thoughts about the recovery and that it is completely a success with special guidance.  Thank you all, your good will for each other makes me so very sure there is enough for all we touch.  Thank you again for being there and being you.  Love to all.  aea

Extremely motivating.  I have the "before" photos on my computer, and they are VERY motivating.  I can't wear a bikini until there's a change.  Thanks for being so inspirational.  I feel that I have the ability to change my body.

How do you set up the spread sheet?   Congrats on your achievement.

Wow, wonderful to read your achievements! This is truly inspiring.

I am too very interested in your spreadsheet! I used spreadsheet at work on a daily basis and is pretty savy with them, but would also like some guidance on how to start such a spreadsheet.

Any advise on this will be of assistance.

I am a bit lazy though!! I do not do enough activities! I do karate 3 times a week equaling 6 hrs, and used to run during lunch hours, but I hurt my hip about a month ago and have not run since then! :(

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