1. What made you decide to lose weight this time? I had always convinced myself that I was one of those fat AND healthy people. I was, luckily, still quite healthy but I was also starting to notice that I was feeling run down and exhausted all the time. The day that my oldest son asked me why I never want to do anything with them is the day that I said NO MORE.
2. What other “diets” (programs, products, plans, or services) had you tried in the past? I’ve struggled with my weight most of my life, so I’ve tried a bit of everything it seems. It was usually something quite drastic, so I’d end up gaining everything back plus some more. This time around I’m keeping it VERY simple and lo and behold it works. Simple calorie counting (while making healthy choices of course) and regular exercise are the way to go.
3. What changes did you make to your usual diet, activity, lifestyle, and attitude? I had to do quite the overhaul and really look at my junk food addiction. I cut out my real ‘trigger’ foods like gummy candy and pizza. I focused on getting several servings of fruit and vegetables every day, lean protein, along with drinking lots of water. I made sure to have ‘treat’ foods around like sugar free jello in case I got a junk food craving. As far as activity I started out by doing water aerobics three times a week and eased myself into fitness by being weightless in the water. Once water aerobics became too easy, I joined a gym that offered Zumba and dance aerobic classes. I focused on finding exercise that is FUN for me, and I stick with it religiously because of that. I now do 4-5 Zumba/dance classes per week plus some weight lifting. I love Zumba so much that I’m going to become an instructor!
4. How did Calorie Count help you to lose weight? Calorie Count has been absolutely invaluable to me. I used it from day one, every single day to track my food and figure out what my calorie budget should be. I use it to this day, although I’ve been testing myself here and there to see if I can go it alone. CC has taught me how to eat properly, essentially. It’s absolutely astounding how much I used to eat. No wonder I got as big as I did.
5. What was most challenging about losing weight? The most challenging thing for me has been dealing with the psychological aspect of this change. I have a million times more energy and confidence now that I am feeling physically healthy and fit, but I struggle when I look in the mirror and think I’m still so big and I still have so far to go. But then I look at my old photos and realize how far I’ve come and I am very proud of myself.
6. How long did it take you to see results? I lost pounds very quickly, but people really started noticing my weight loss after about a month. I lost my first dress size within that month.
7. When did you realize that you were a success? I’m actually really feeling that right now. I’ve lost 85 lbs, I’ve gone from a size 26 to a 16 and I feel amazing. I feel sexy and confident and energetic. My focus has been shifting lately from the scale to how I FEEL. The number on the scale seems less important to me now because I already feel in amazing shape. It’s about enjoying life now.
8. How do you prevent relapse? Looking at old photos obviously really helps. I look like a completely different person! When I look at those old photos I instantly remember how sad I felt, how run down and exhausted I felt, and I NEVER want to get back to that place. I try to remind myself also that even on the days when I really don’t want to go to the gym, I always feel so energized and fantastic after a Zumba class, so I always go!
9. How has your life changed now that you’ve lost weight? I really feel like I’ve given myself a new lease on life. I spent my 20s in horrible shape, not taking care of my body or my mind properly. I feel better at 32 than I did at 22, and I’m very proud of that. I now WANT to dance all night long, I WANT to run around with my boys, I WANT to get out there and live my life to the fullest. I have more enthusiasm and lust for life, and I have put a lot of value in myself.
10. What five tips do you have for other dieters?
- Find an exercise that is fun for you and stick with it!
- Make yourself accountable. Share your numbers with people who support you.
- Compete with yourself. Try to top your personal best!
- Don’t deny yourself the foods you want to eat. Just practice moderation and be accountable for it.
- Be gentle with yourself. Learn to forgive yourself for your mistakes and move on.