Don’t Give Up On Yourself
Kathryn had tried to lose weight before, even with Calorie Count, but it was the newly implemented social aspects of the sitethat kept her going the second time around. She lost 100 pounds, and has set a healthy example for her family, found a love for running, and is healthier and more confident.
1. What prompted you to begin this weight loss journey? Did you have an “Aha!” moment?
I originally joined Calorie Count in 2009. At the time, there were no daily posts listed in a feed so it was harder to meet people. You could post in a blog, but, it just didn’t seem as personal, and I was not successful with it.
I returned in 2011. I had given birth to my second child and had been diagnosed with a severely underactive thyroid. My meds had been regulated and I was ready to start again.
My “Aha!” moment actually came about a month and a half after I started. I was diagnosed with pseudotumor cerebri. I was going blind in my left eye and had to have a spinal tap to release the pressure in my head. I was told that I could take massive doses of medicine to treat this condition, however, the only true hope of overcoming this would be to lose weight. Doctors told me that if I lost weight it would take some pressure off my spine. The choice seemed simple, I had to lose weight. But, it seemed so daunting at the time.
2. What other “diets” (programs, products, plans, or services) had you tried in the past?
I’ve tried the Atkins diet and Jenny Craig on multiple occasions.
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 started by just tracking everything I ate all the time. I cut out a lot of cheese and butter, but I never eliminated anything, just measured and portioned everything. After about 20 pounds, I started doing the elliptical at the gym, and then I joined a boot camp class at work. However, the program got canceled around the time I reached 200 pounds.
I then found love for running. I now run in local races at least twice a month. They have become my social outlet.
I used to make a lot of pre-packaged, quick home meals. Now I enjoy looking up healthy, new recipes online to try out, and I think in that way I’m setting good standards for my whole family.
4. Please describe how Calorie Count was instrumental to your weight loss.
Calorie Count gave me a convenient method for tracking everything I ate. But, more than that, it allowed me to meet people like me. People that struggled in the same ways I did and wouldn’t judge me. People that could advise me, and give me a pat on the back when needed. I became addicted to reading other users’ posts and would check multiple times a day to see if people posted something new or commented on my post.
I’ve met some truly wonderful people on this site.
Editors Note: A couple of weeks ago, we shared highlights from the Calorie Count meet-up at the Runner’s World Half Marathon and Festival. The meet-up was a great example of how community support can make a huge difference in achieving your goals.
5. What difficulties did you experience losing weight?
Once my meds were regulated, my biggest difficulty in losing weight was balancing my work, children and workout time.
Sometimes I’d feel guilty about working out rather than spending time with my kids, but I know that in getting healthy I’m doing something better for them as well. I joined a gym with a big play area for them, so they wanted to go as much as I did. I still wish I could work out more, and sometimes I miss my usual workouts for parties or school events, but I know that as long as I don’t make a habit of it I’ll be ok.
6. How long did it take you to see results? When did you realize that you were a success?
I saw results on the scale right away, but I didn’t see the results in pictures until I’d lost about 65 pounds. People would tell me it was obvious, but I just couldn’t see it until around then. To be perfectly honest, I sometimes still feel the anxiety that comes with being overweight, and I often still shrink into the shadows feeling like I’m the heaviest person in the room when I clearly am not. It’s really hard to get that image out of my head. I realized that I was a success when I completed my first 10-mile run and it didn’t hurt. I know that I am healthy, and I can do things that I never imagined I could before.
7. How do you prevent relapse?
I still monitor what I eat almost every day. I’m not as strict with my diet as I once was, but I still exercise regularly. And, if the scale starts creeping up I start tracking what I eat more.
8. How has your life changed now that you’ve lost weight?
I am way more active. I look for more things to do with my family that don’t involve sitting. I feel more confident in the workplace and at home. I went to my last job interview feeling much better about myself and less nervous. (Let’s face it: heavier people have a harder time getting hired after an interview than skinnier people even if the HR department won’t admit it.) Bam, I got the job. I’m proud to get into pictures with my kids. Before, I would try to jump out of the shot because I didn’t want to “ruin” the picture. Also the meds I am on for the pseudotumor have been reduced from 4 pills to 1 pill a day. I’d call that a win.
9. How long have you maintained your current weight?
I’ve put on a little weight, and I go up and down, but I’ve maintained this weight plus or minus 10 pounds for about a year.
10. What five tips do you have for other dieters?
1. Don’t eliminate anything you truly love to eat. Eat it in moderation. If you don’t, you’ll eventually fall off the wagon and end up binging.
2. You need to become active. Diet alone will not be enough, plus the more you exercise the more you can eat.
3. Don’t let your calories go too low. Starvation mode is real and you will get stuck.
4. Don’t give up. Everyone has bad days, don’t let it become bad weeks or months.
5. Create your own plan. What works for one person may not work for you. The only thing that is important is calorie intake and activity. The rest you can make fit into your life. And if it is working for you don’t let anyone tell you what you are doing is wrong.
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