“The Obesity Trend in My Family Ends With Me!”
Kelly battled her weight her whole life, and tried almost every diet with limited success. But when she stopped trying diets, and decided to change her lifestyle, she started to see real changes. She started with workouts at home and worked up to a 5k, then a 10k, and four half-marathons. She learned to eat better and never deprive herself. Now, at almost 100 lbs. lost Kelly knows she’ll never go back. And, more importantly, she knows she’s setting a good example for her young daughter.
1. What prompted you to begin this weight loss journey? Did you have an “Aha!” moment?
I hadn’t been on the scale in a long time but I knew things were bad because my fattest fat pants were too tight, but I refused to buy new ones. I was feeling depressed and tired all the time. I couldn’t get down on the floor to play with my toddler daughter without feeling horribly uncomfortable, and I certainly couldn’t keep up with her when she was running around wanting me to play with her. I felt like a bad mom. I finally had a doctor’s appointment where they put me on the scale and the number I saw completely shocked me. My doctor then started talking to me about my risk for diabetes and heart disease if I continued on the path I was on and I thought, “This has to stop!” That was not the life I wanted for myself.
2. What other “diets” (programs, products, plans, or services) had you tried in the past?
I’ve battled my weight my whole life so I’ve tried them all. Weight Watchers, Atkins, South Beach, severe calorie restriction, etc. I lost weight on all of them but couldn’t stick to any of them because I always felt hungry and deprived, so I would fall off the wagon big time and binge my way back to (and frequently above) the weight I started at.
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?
I first started by using Calorie Count to figure out my target caloric intake, then I committed myself to counting calories and weighing and measuring my food. Yes, I found it a bit cumbersome at first but soon it became habit and I still do it almost 2 years later. I then integrated exercise. I work full time and I’m a mom, so I have a busy life. Beachbody at-home workout programs fit perfectly into my lifestyle. I could do them whenever worked for me and I didn’t have to spend time away from my family.
I frequently did my workouts with my daughter playing close by and cheering me along. I worked through a number of Beachbody workout programs including TurboFire, P90X, Hip-Hop Abs, and Les Mills Combat. I also started running.
I started with the Couch to 5K program where I could barely run for more than a minute straight without feeling like I was going to die. By the end of the program, I could do 5Ks, and then I worked my way up to 10Ks, 10 miles, and now I’ve done 4 half-marathons, and I’m training for a marathon. It’s truly amazing what your body can do when you treat it right and fuel it right. Along the way, I have lost 95 pounds. My ultimate goal is 120 pounds lost so I am still a work in progress but aren’t we all?
My most important change was my attitude. I went from thinking that I was on a diet to instead realizing that I was implementing a lifestyle change. I was easier on myself and understood that slip-ups are normal (no one is perfect), and there is no excuse to dive into a junk food binge.
I read The Hunger Within, and did a lot of personal development to get myself over the hurdle of emotional eating. I learned to love myself, even as a work in progress, and learned to use my mistakes as lessons for the future.
4. Please describe how Calorie Count was instrumental to your weight loss.
Calorie Count was instrumental in my weight loss because if I am left to “guesstimate” my caloric intake, I will ALWAYS underestimate. I love that I can put in my food and get an accurate number of calories in, put in my exercise and get an accurate number of calories burned, and then have the program tell me my net caloric balance at the end of the day based on my body size and activity level. That way I can make sure that I always have a net negative caloric balance. I learned a lot through tracking including the fact that if I have too few calories at breakfast and lunch, I tend to binge before dinner.
I learned what foods fill me up and stay within my target caloric intake. Those are now my “go-to” foods.
5. What difficulties did you experience losing weight?
I lost weight quite quickly at first but then I inevitably stumbled upon weight loss plateaus. If they were not caused by taking in too many calories (which they usually were), I learned to get over them by implementing caloric cycling or changing up my exercise routine. I kept myself motivated by rewarding myself at every 10 pounds lost. I bought up cheap massages, pedicures, manicures, facials, etc. on Groupon and Living Social and would redeem one of them when I hit a 10 pound mark. That kept me on task because I felt so proud of myself when I got a reward!
6. How long did it take you to see results? When did you realize that you were a success?
I saw results pretty quickly but I didn’t really feel like a success until I continued to see results. Like I said, I’ve tried just about every fad diet out there but I could never stick to anything longer than about 3 months because they were too prohibitive. Once I passed 3 months and was still going strong without feeling deprived, I realized that I may have struck gold! Now that I am close to 100 pounds lost, I feel awesome and know that I will meet my goal.
7. How do you prevent relapse?
I prevent relapse by surrounding myself with motivating and supportive people. I continue to weigh, measure, and track my food and I weigh myself once a week (no more, no less) so that I am never shocked by the scale again. I have the attitude that I am not losing weight; I am getting rid of it because I never plan to see it again. I no longer hang onto fat clothes “just in case” because I know that I will succeed. Why hang onto clothes in case of failure? Instead make success your only option!
8. How has your life changed now that you’ve lost weight?
My life has changed immeasurably now that I’ve lost weight. I am so much happier, definitely able to keep up with my daughter, and most importantly, I feel like I am setting a good example for her. The trend of obesity in my family ends with me! I have so much more confidence. I love setting new fitness and life goals for myself knowing that I can achieve anything I put my mind to. I am now a health and fitness coach and love helping other people reach their goals as well.
9. How long have you maintained your current weight?
I am still trying to lose weight but it is coming off slower now that I am nearing my goal. I am down 95 pounds and have maintained that weight more or less for the past few months. Now I am losing again thanks to starting a new workout program.
10. What five tips do you have for other dieters?
1) Always eat breakfast, a morning snack, lunch, an afternoon snack or two, and dinner. Do not skip meals or you will slow your metabolism.
2) If you feel your metabolism is slower than it should be, weight train. Building muscle does miracles for your metabolism. If you are a girl, don’t shy away from weights, you will not get bulky.
3) Never eliminate any type of food from your diet or you will feel deprived and never stick to it. I love chocolate and fill my meals with lots of filling and low-calorie foods so that I almost always have enough calories left at the end of the day for dessert (usually a piece or two of dark chocolate).
4) You don’t need to eat less to lose weight; you just need to eat more of the right things. I eat a TON of food every day, more than most people I know, but I eat a lot of fruits and veggies which are low-calorie so I can eat a ton of them. You DO NOT need to be hungry all the time to lose weight.
5) Surround yourself with motivating people who believe in you. If you don’t have people like that in your life, find them online in communities such as Calorie Count or Team Beachbody. People who don’t believe you can reach your goals are usually just reflecting their own low self-esteem and disbelief in themselves. Do not let anyone tell you what you can and cannot accomplish.