92 Pounds Lost: I Got Control Over My Food Addiction And Shed That Extra Weight
Homeskillet86’s journey to weight loss started several years ago. In her story she discusses how learning to manage her food addiction and changing her mentality towards a healthier lifestyle has helped her shed 92lbs. Read on for her weight loss tips, all taken from her own experiences.
1. What prompted you to begin this weight loss journey? Did you have an “Aha!” moment?
From the time I was 16 I was always between 200 and 230 and I wasn’t happy with myself, but I figured if I stayed in that range I was ok. In late 2008 my dad died, that coupled with the stress of a cross-country move, a budding relationship (between two foodies, no less!) and going from having a very physical career to being a full time student, the weight just piled on. Before I knew it things had gotten out of control. I never had an “Aha!” moment. I struggled with just acknowledging with how big I had gotten, and once I really took a good look at myself I decided enough was enough. I just didn’t want to live my life like that anymore.
2. What other “diets” (programs, products, plans, or services) had you tried in the past?
I half-heartedly tried Atkins a few times after seeing several people close to me have success with it. I did lose about 30 lbs, but it was probably because I really wasn’t eating much of anything. The other two things I tried were Nutrisystem and being a lacto-vegan. With each I lost about 30 lbs before giving up gaining the weight slowly back again each time.
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?
So far I’ve lost 92 lbs, I realize now that if I can combine all the times I’ve dieted I’ve done that at least once or twice before. Losing the weight was never the problem, keeping it off was. My mentality was always that “I just have to suffer right now and when I reach my goal weight I can eat all the yummy foods again like my skinny friends.” I know when you write that out it sounds crazy, but I think it is a mentality that is more prevalent than you think. Once I realized that losing weight means permanently giving up my addiction to food, things went much smoother. For me, nothing else has worked besides keeping track of my calories (eventually you have everything memorized!) and weighing myself every single day. I know that sounds a bit extreme, but I can do far too much damage in just one day in order to risk it.
4. Please describe how Calorie Count was instrumental to your weight loss.
I use calorie count to get a rough estimate of how many calories I should eat and how many calories I am burning. Also, the new recipe function is amazing and much better than “professional” nutrition programs I have used for school. I have also read a lot of the articles and found support through friends in the forums.
5. What difficulties did you experience losing weight?
I had a really long “plateau” period of over a year. I had just gotten married, I bought a house, I was working and going to school and my mom was diagnosed with cancer and passed away all in one year. I was eating a lot of meals out of vending machines and while I wasn’t really bingeing anymore, I was making very poor food choices and struggling with gaining and losing the same 5 lbs over and over. I was going through all of this stress and depression and I thought that I was being good to myself by allowing myself to eat ice cream, candy and soda. I was determined not to gain weight, so sometimes I would eat a meal that would consist of a 16 oz soda and a bag of M&M’s. I finally woke up and realized that I wasn’t finished losing weight and that I didn’t want to get diabetes. I still struggle with eating too much sugar, but I have gotten it under better control.
6. How long did it take you to see results? When did you realize that you were a success?
I was so overweight at first and still sort of in denial that it was hard for me to see results. I knew I was losing weight and doing well, but I didn’t feel like a success until my year-long plateau, or basically a year of being on maintenance. I almost feel like I needed that because it showed me that even though I might still have some problems with the types of food I am eating, I no longer use food as a crutch.
7. How do you prevent relapse?
I think it’s just about constantly reminding yourself that food is meant to feed your body, not your mind. What keeps me motivated is that everything gets easier with every pound I lose. Losing weight and exercising more both help me feel less hungry and if I just keep going I know I will be successful. I used to have this mentality that losing weight was a pass or fail issue. Now I know that I can never fail if I commit to making the best out of every day.
8. How has your life changed now that you’ve lost weight?
I feel a lot better. I had a lot of knee pain before, stairs were exhausting. Now I’m able to do hard, exhausting work and find it kind of invigorating. Besides looking thinner, the healthier lifestyle has improved not only my mind, but also my hair and complexion as well. I feel better, and I feel better about myself.
9. How long have you maintained your current weight?
I have maintained the first 70 lbs since late 2010, but I have since lost over 20 lbs and plan on continuing to do so until I feel I am at a healthy/comfortable weight.
10. What tips do you have for other dieters?
- Be honest with yourself. Denial was a big part of what stopped me in the past. I had to face some pretty unpleasant truths about myself before I could even begin to correct my behaviors.
- Weigh and/or measure yourself regularly. Everyone has different ideas for how often that should be, but I firmly believe it should be frequent enough for you to have a wakeup call when you get off track before too much damage is done. Everyone loves to weigh themselves when they know they are losing, but those same people avoid the scale like the plague when they are gaining.
- Find ways to exercise without “exercising.” I think that it is much healthier and easier to become more active in general than to try to maintain a relatively sedative lifestyle with a few hours of focused exercise sprinkled in here and there.
- Beware of people who will try to sabotage your success. – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard things like “is that all you’re eating?” Sometimes even the best intentions can cause major problems.
- Keep going – No matter how bad you mess up, it is never too late to turn it around. Even if that means starting over and over and over. You cannot fail if you never stop trying.
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