My Journey to Health and Happiness
Changing his eating habits was only one part of Stancray’s road to losing 42 lbs. In addition to following a vegan diet, he stays in motion regularly each day as part of his lifestyle change. For him, eating healthy is not only for weight loss, but more for one’s well-being
1. What made you decide to lose weight this time?
I had been fighting weight forever. But, the primary motivation for this change came from bad cholesterol reading. My doctor gave me six months to see if I could lower my cholesterol reading by lifestyle changes or he would put me on drugs to lower my cholesterol. I did not want to take any more prescriptions, so I committed to give it a try.
2. What other “diets” (programs, products, plans, or services) had you tried in the past?
I’ve basically tried them all at one time or another. I was always successful at losing weight, but could never maintain the weight loss when I went off the program.
3. What changes did you make to your usual diet, activity, lifestyle, and attitude?
I made the rather radical change of adopting a strict vegetarian, almost 100% vegan diet. I say almost 100% vegan because while I try to avoid all animal products, some traces of animal products get into some of the foods which I do not prepare myself. I attempted to keep the percentage of calories from fat under 15%. I also tried to increase my exercise levels by walking more.
4. How did Calorie Count help you to lose weight?
Calorie Count was an invaluable resource to me. It was a lifesaver in so many ways, perhaps the most useful tool I have ever experienced. It provided a system for tracking weight, calories, nutritional breakdowns and activity all in one place. I found the site totally by accident, but it was and still is a key component in my journey.
5. What was most challenging about losing weight?
The most challenging part initially was just getting started. I am also challenged with the concept of self restraint, in other words, I battle the feelings that I am being restricted from enjoying what others get to enjoy all of the time. The challenge now is to maintain which I have never succeeded in before.
6. How long did it take you to see results?
I started dropping weight immediately. It was a slow process to be sure, but the weight came off. I really started noticing results, however, when I got down about 15 lbs and my clothing started to feel much looser.
7. When did you realize that you were a success?
There were three things which made me feel that I had been a success:
1. I dropped a pants size and a shirt size. I now could comfortably wear size 36 pants and “L” shirts. Before, it was always 38 pants (and probably should have been higher) and “XL” shirts. It was great self endorsement to buy some new clothes.
2. My peers and family started to take notice and saying complimentary things about how I looked and that I had lost weight.
3. My cholesterol numbers dropped drastically into the normal range. I also made drastic improvement in my level of triglycerides. It was an exciting day when my Doctor noted on my chart that my cholesterol problem was gone.
8. How do you prevent relapse?
I am totally committed to continue with Calorie Count for the rest of my life. I also will weigh myself at least weekly. I will be accountable for what I eat and my activity level. And I totally plan to continue with my vegan diet.
9. How has your life changed now that you’ve lost weight?
Emotionally, I feel so much better because I feel that I now have an effective strategy to maintain. Physically, I have more energy. I have a much more satisfying romantic and sexual relationship with my dear wife. I feel much better in not eating animal products believing that it is good for me, good for the environment and good for my fellow citizens on Planet Earth. It has been a wonderful blessing in my life.
10. What five tips do you have for other dieters?
- Log, log, log your food faithfully. Log even when you don’t feel like it. It is a great way to be accountable.
- Weigh yourself frequently.
- Eat less animal based foods, even if you don’t go vegetarian, you
will still be better off by consuming less animal based foods.
- Get physical. Exercise and, as with food, log it. You have to be
accountable for exercise just as you are accountable for what you
- Be patient. We don’t get obese overnight, and we won’t achieve a
healthy weight overnight.