Know That You Can Do It
Once college started, Josie refused to believe she was growing increasingly unhealthy. Then, a visit with her doctor confirmed that she was in the overweight category for her height and age. From there, she resolved to get in shape and change her lifestyle. Josie worked on recognizing her eating triggers, incorporating exercise into her routine, and holding herself accountable. Now, at 40 lbs. lost, Josie is sleeping better, less stressed out, and taking on new challenges.
1. What prompted you to begin this weight loss journey? Did you have an “Aha!” moment?
From my freshman year of college through my first semester of my junior year, I was steadily gaining weight. It made sense, going from a very active lifestyle in high school to a moderately sedentary one in college. I gained 18 pounds my freshman year, and kept gaining for the next year and a half until I had gained about 30 pounds. I knew it was happening, but my “Aha!” moment was when my doctor told me at my yearly physical that I was now in the overweight category for my height and age. Seeing my steady gain on the sheet of paper was what did it for me; I was devastated. It became my New Year’s resolution to get in shape.
2. What other “diets” (programs, products, plans, or services) had you tried in the past?
I hadn’t tried any other programs, since I didn’t allow myself to believe I was growing increasingly heavy and increasingly unhealthy until meeting with my doctor.
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 logging my food on Calorie Count after a few days of handwriting down what I ate, and fell in LOVE with the program. I reached my weight loss goal by beginning to work out at first 3-5 days a week, and eventually working up to 6 days a week. I had worked out before, but never consistently, and never with a lot of effort. I started running on the treadmill (which I HATED) and mixing in elliptical, abs, and weights. Using Calorie Count in conjunction with working out worked wonders for me, and still continues to today.
4. Please describe how Calorie Count was instrumental to your weight loss.
I would eat when I was bored, stressed, happy, sad. In feeling any emotion, I would eat, pretty much. Calorie Count allowed me to see everything I was consuming, all in one place. I could see how many calories were in foods that I loved, how few were in foods that I refused to eat, and how much activity I did in a day. I was immediately amazed by how much extra food I consumed in a day, food that I didn’t need. I became married to Calorie Count for going out to eat, planning meals ahead, and for keeping track of my activity. Without Calorie Count, I am sure I would have fallen off the wagon, since if I don’t log it, and don’t see it, I forget it happens. Seeing everything in one place made my diet possible. Without this app I wouldn’t have been able to reach my goal!
5. What difficulties did you experience losing weight?
I am a HUGE sweets person. I love chocolate and flavored coffees. A big challenge for me was finding substitutes for candy, ice cream, and high-calorie coffee drinks. I LOVE to bake, so I make cookies and brownies CONSTANTLY. It’s a huge stress reliever for me. I love baking cookies, and had to learn to just have one, or would bake them for other people. It was hard for me to limit my ice cream intake as well.
After finding substitutes, the next challenge became not buying the other stuff at all, which was also a challenge.
6. How long did it take you to see results? When did you realize that you were a success?
I actually had a hard time seeing results. My friends were the ones that would see them for me, and then tell me about them. About 3-4 months in, I had friends saying, “Wow, are you doing something differently?” I didn’t begin to see results until my clothes were falling off of my body and I went to buy new ones. Buying a pair of jeans that was 5-7 sizes smaller than what I had previously worn was incredible. I had a hard time purchasing them, because I couldn’t believe it. Now, almost 10 months later, I often get, “How did you get so skinny? What is your secret? Can you teach me?” This is how I know my lifestyle is still working and that I am still seeing results from keeping my weight and body at a healthy state.
7. How do you prevent relapse?
Right now, I still use Calorie Count to monitor my food intake. I increased my calorie intake for maintenance, but otherwise I have made very few changes to my lifestyle. I still work out, still eat healthy, still buy the same foods I was eating throughout this journey, and still keep track of my weight. I also don’t freak out if I go over my calorie limit, as I did on my diet, since I know I am maintaining.
8. How has your life changed now that you’ve lost weight?
My life has changed immensely. A major change is that I have battled insomnia since I was 17, and I sleep SO much better now that I am healthy. I am much less stressed out, since working out relieves a lot of my stress, and I feel overall, very healthy. My mental health as well as my attitude have changed. I feel much happier and more alive.
Also, I am able to go for things I never could have before. For example, in June I ran my first 5K, and in August I ran my first half-marathon, and I am now looking to sign-up for more races. These are things I never would have considered doing before losing weight.
9. How long have you maintained your current weight?
I have maintained my weight for 3 months now, and could not feel happier about that!
10. What five tips do you have for other dieters?
1.) Know that you can do it. On day one, I never thought I would see the results that I now do. I never thought I would stick with it. But, now, 10 months later, I see that it became a lifestyle change that I simply adapted to.
2.) Find healthy substitutes for your favorite foods. Once you find ones you like, incorporate them into your life.
3.) Listen to yourself, not others. I had many say, “Why are you going on a diet?” and when they didn’t understand, I would get discouraged. A few months in, I learned that it doesn’t matter what they think, as long as I had my own determination.
4.) Log everything! Even if you are disappointed in yourself for something you have eaten, slipping into the habit of not logging makes Calorie Count less effective and won’t help you as much as it could.
Log it, look at it, and change tomorrow what you did today if you don’t like it. Changing your lifestyle and what you eat is a process.
5.) Try working out/new workouts. Even if you never have before, just trying things can give you an indication about what you can do. Once you have this indication, it will be easier to incorporate working out into your life!
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