How I Found Motivation For Weight Loss
One of the best methods for finding motivation to lose weight is to look at pictures of yourself. This is precisely what Bellaerrari did. 97lbs lighter, she attributes Calorie Count as her major factor in her lifestyle and weight loss change. As she states – CC is her Personal Trainer! Her story is very inspirational and she shares many motivating tips from her journey.
1. What prompted you to begin this weight loss journey? Did you have an “Aha!” moment?
At my heaviest (albeit pregnant) I was at 299lbs and I had only gained 29lbs during my pregnancy so even though I had a very smooth pregnancy I was not a healthy person. Once my daughter was born everyone took pictures of course and I had a long recovery from the birth so it was probably almost 2 months before I really saw the pictures of us together – I saw a lot of her but none really of myself and her. When I finally started seeing the pictures I was horrified by the way I looked in them and, as a result, I ended up deleting or cropping myself out of the pictures. As time went on I lost my first 40lbs or so after the pregnancy eating better and being extremely active with my newborn baby, those pounds dropped fairly quickly and I really didn’t have to do much. 40lbs was a lot of weight to lose in a relatively short amount of time so I was happy about that but then I started seeing more pictures of myself at various times – 40 or so pounds lighter – and still couldn’t believe what I saw.
Long story short it took one last picture of my darling little girl and I to be deleted for me to decide I had had enough.
My sister in law got married and I created a slideshow of her and her husband’s families and childhood – everyone ooo-ed and aww-ed most over the baby pictures of her with her mother. I realized that I didn’t want my daughter to grow up and not have any pictures of her mother to look back on merely because I was too unhappy with my appearance to have it recorded.
2. What other “diets” (programs, products, plans, or services) had you tried in the past?
I refuse to try fad diets because I am hypoglycemic and I learned a long time ago that I need to eat no matter what aspect of weight loss I try to do. I have been on Weight Watchers and I lost about 40lbs but it wasn’t easily managed or maintained in my opinion.
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?
Once I decided to make the change I went for it. It was late morning one day, I had already had breakfast and decided to log it and have been going ever since. I log every day (even if it was a high calorie day) using the public interaction and reporting daily as my personal trainer.
I started swimming with my infant daughter. She absolutely loves it and I get a great workout throwing her around and playing with her in the pool. I also walk a lot and do floor exercises at least twice a week to help build muscle as I lose weight.
4. Please describe how Calorie Count was instrumental to your weight loss.
I use CC both on my (Android) phone and the website to track everything I eat. At first I looked things up a lot before I ate them to make sure I was on track and now I just use it to track my calories all day (once you use it for awhile you can pretty much eat all day and know what you’re eating).
I would like to use this time to advocate the HUGE, HUGE benefit of the recipe function on this website. I cook and bake a LOT and this portion of the website has been incredibly instrumental in my weight loss. I create a recipe, I enter everything just as the recipe (or whatever my brain has decided to make) and analyze it. I go through the recipe and adjust things for the result I want (i.e. less/more calories, less/more fat, more nutrients etc.) and I try to make all of my recipes at least a B+ and I will adjust things (adding more veggies, adding or subtracting other ingredients) until I get my recipe where I want it. I save it, make it, and continue adjusting if need be. If you do not use this function please, please give it a try – it will change your weight loss! I mention it often in my discussions and daily reports, I have had people ask me how to use it and/or for suggestions and I am HAPPY to go through it with anyone, it is phenomenal!
5. What difficulties did you experience losing weight?
Normally my downfalls are celebrations where the focus is food i.e. Thanksgiving. I eat what I want on that day with the intent of getting back on track afterwards and that just wasn’t happening, I’d fall off track and not get back on. Now I convince myself that I must get back on track and it’s getting easier while maintaining that you must live your life so I eat what I want to celebrate whatever the holiday is then get back to normal.
6. How long did it take you to see results? When did you realize that you were a success?
After about 6 months total I had people telling me they could see a difference and it gave me a new confidence. My husband started saying that he could see a big difference but not in the way I looked so much (he’s a very sweet man who thought I was beautiful at 299lbs) but he starting commenting on how happy I was, how much more I smiled and the confidence I exuded – that compliment was apparently more motivation than just commenting on my appearance! He continues to tell me that and other people have started making those same observations!
7. How do you prevent relapse?
I have discussions with myself that go along these lines: “I exercised today so I can have [insert whatever food I don’t need but want] I’ll work it off later…or not”. To which I reply to myself: “No, Heather, you can’t. Look how far you have come, look at the difference this has made in your life, that [whatever I want] is not worth it – let’s go home and have a piece of chocolate [or some other less terrible food but still indulgent of I feel I need it].” Those conversations have helped a lot, I used to convince myself I needed to eat something but now I use them to convince myself that I am stronger than I was…strong enough to not need indulgences all the time!
8. How has your life changed now that you’ve lost weight?
I am a much, much happier person. I play with my daughter – she is VERY active and I can more than keep up with her. I have energy to play with her, to be with my husband and do pretty much anything I want without being tired, out of breath or feeling bad about my appearance. Being happy is an amazing feeling – I’d rather be happy and healthy than skinny which is a fantastic mindset and one that I think more people need to adapt!
9. How long have you maintained your current weight?
I am still in the process of losing so there isn’t any maintenance at the moment but my plan will be to continue tracking my food on Calorie Count – it has become a part of every day so I plan to continue using it once I am at a comfortable weight.
10. What tips do you have for other dieters?
- Exercise. It doesn’t matter WHAT you are doing, anything you’re doing is better than what you were doing before you made your change.
- You have to live your life. You cannot micromanage your entire life every single second. You need to indulge every once in awhile and not feel guilty. If you do indulge for one meal or a day or a week just remember that you’re human, you’re doing this for you and you WILL get on track and that lapse did not ruin everything you’ve accomplished.
- Be positive about this no matter your situation. You are doing something to make your life better, this is a wonderful choice and something you’re doing just for you — it’s a great thing no matter how long it takes — good for you!!
- Use the recipe feature of Calorie Count. It will honestly, honestly help you with your weight loss and make your life easier!
- You have support. You have people who are proud of you. It doesn’t matter if you live in the middle of nowhere or in a house with 20 other people – you have people who support you and are proud of your success. If you need support or positive encouragement and you can’t get it anywhere else – come here! Encouragement and feeling like we’re doing well is part of human nature — don’t allow things to get out of hand, we’re all here to support each other!
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