Changing My Perspective
When Annie learned she was pre-diabetic, she knew she needed to start treating her body better. She changed her attitude and her eating habits, and pushed herself to get results. Now, after losing 85 pounds, and maintaining her weight for over a year, Annie has learned to make healthy choices, enjoy the occasional indulgence, and start accepting the well-deserved compliments.
1. What prompted you to begin this weight loss journey? Did you have an “Aha!” moment?
I would like to say that my “Aha!” moment was something pleasant. However, what made me jump start my new healthy lifestyle, was because I was told after a doctor’s visit that I was pre-diabetic. I had just turned 23 years old and I couldn’t believe what I had done to my body. At that moment, I knew I had hit rock bottom.
2. What other “diets” (programs, products, plans, or services) had you tried in the past?
I felt like I was dieting since the moment I popped out of the womb, so honestly I’ve tried a million different diets – from the banana diet to liquid diets – that all failed miserably.
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 remember telling myself, “I am going to do this today.” I tend to always say, “Oh, I’ll start my diet Monday, so I have the weekend to pig out.” My attitude changed completely from the past, I felt like I needed to get my life in control and get my body back.
My doctor had suggested the South Beach diet, so I tried it out! Phase 1 of the South Beach diet you pretty much cut out all carbs, and it’s just lean meats and veggies for the first 2 weeks. Then you move into phase 2 where you slowly introduce whole grains and fruits back into your diet. During Phase 1, I felt great. For the first time in my life I noticed that I wasn’t feeling so bloated all the time, my headaches were less severe, and I wasn’t having as much back pain.
It was during phase 2 when I started introducing carbs back into my diet that I finally figured out what my kryptonite was! When I started re-introducing whole grain breads, I noticed that I started feeling bloated, my fingers would swell up, and my joints were extremely painful. My headaches returned and I realized that I had a gluten intolerance.
After cutting out gluten from my diet, I started dropping weight drastically to the point where I was losing about 5 lbs per week. In the beginning I didn’t work out much. I was a big girl, and I didn’t want to move around much, and I didn’t have the motivation to go to the gym and work out! Finally, after losing a majority of the weight in about 3-4 months, I was motivated enough to go into the gym to start toning and pulling myself back together. Now, I maintain a gluten-free diet (I cheat occasionally…but it’s so worth it…well until the next morning). I also go to the gym and work out 3-5 days a week.
4. Please describe how Calorie Count was instrumental to your weight loss.
Counting calories and making sure I took in the right amount of calories was extremely important. No matter what, if you take in more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. Calorie Count made it so simple to log. Earning points each day was rewarding – it made logging almost like a game and I’m extremely competitive so it helped push me to continue to log each day!
5. What difficulties did you experience losing weight?
There were days when all I wanted to do was eat everything in sight and give up. But then, I started asking myself each time I would reach for a “bad” food such as donut, French baguette, etc., “Is it worth it? You just worked out hard and burned those calories, is it worth eating that?” Most of the time that helped me get pass my food urges, but of course there were days when I just needed to splurge.
6. How long did it take you to see results? When did you realize that you were a success?
It took me a month to starting seeing results, and that kept driving me to push myself for more and more results. I realized I was a success when I reached my anniversary for my one year of weight loss on November 1st of this year.
7. How do you prevent relapse?
I let myself splurge every once in a while. Life isn’t worth living if you restrict yourself of all the indulgences. So I tell myself, “Hey ya, go indulge for dinner but remember to stop eating when you’re full.” I have a tendency to keep eating, especially if the food is just sitting in front of me.
8. How has your life changed now that you’ve lost weight?
Life is an uphill battle at times, especially after you’ve lost a considerable amount of weight. When you’ve been big your whole life and all of a sudden you don’t recognize the person staring back at you in the mirror it feels weird. It is not just losing the weight; it is also changing your perspective on how you view yourself. I am working on gaining more confidence and learning to accept compliments. I did a pin-up girl photo shoot for my one year weight loss anniversary. I needed to see what I looked like through other people’s eyes. Since the photo shoot, I have gained some confidence, however, it is still very hard to break out of my shell.
9. How long have you maintained your current weight?
I reached my one year of weight loss on November 1st!
10. What five tips do you have for other dieters?
1. Surround yourself with amazing friends and family who will support you through your journey.
2. Meditate and don’t forget who you are.
3. Push yourself for that extra set at the gym or that extra mile because YOU CAN DO IT!
4. Get a workout buddy!
5. Learn to splurge healthily!
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