For Dana, a trip to the hospital was a wake-up call. She decided she needed to change her life and start making healthier choices. She also learned that eating better isn’t just about losing weight. It’s about living better, having more energy, and enjoying your food. Now, at over 110 lbs. lost, Dana has been released from taking her medications, she has the energy to play with her kids, and she is living life happy.
1. What prompted you to begin this weight loss journey? Did you have an “Aha!” moment? At my highest weight, I was 234 lbs. I entered into the hospital for almost a week’s stay. At that time, I had severely high blood pressure and staggeringly high cholesterol. Upon returning home, I decided to change my lifestyle FOREVER! I began eating with a healthy mindset. The rest is history! Low-fat, low-sodium, no fried foods, and only natural sugars, helped me obtain my goal weight along with a consistent exercise routine.
2. What other “diets” (programs, products, plans, or services) had you tried in the past? I have tried them all! Anything from fad diets to doctor-recommended diets. There is NO diet that can do what eating healthy for life can do!
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 began by eating healthier. Low-fat, low-sodium, no fried foods, and only natural sugars helped me obtain my goal weight. When I began losing weight, I felt like being more active. I began to incorporate an active lifestyle into my daily life. Now I exercise between 5-6 times a week.
4. Please describe how Calorie Count was instrumental to your weight loss. Calorie Count has been a valuable resource in helping me obtain my goal weight. I use the site EVERY single day! I tend to utilize the site to help me stay in control of tracking my caloric intake, as well as to help me make healthier decisions in my choices for food. I would feel lost if I didn’t have it by my side…and on my phone!
5. What difficulties did you experience losing weight? The major difficulty that I have faced is lowering my salt intake. In the beginning, it was hard dropping my sodium intake. I did find alternatives through using spices for extra flavor. Now, I cannot use extra salt in my food at all!
6. How long did it take you to see results? When did you realize that you were a success? I began seeing results almost immediately. First and foremost, I began feeling so much better on the inside through my healthy choices. I had so much more energy. This was even before I stepped on the scales! When I began losing weight, it came off pretty easy given the combination of eating healthy and putting physical activity into the mix. I realized that I was a success when I was released from taking all the medications I had previously been taking on a daily basis. Now, I am a certified fitness trainer and working on my degree towards being a Nutrition Specialist! It’s such an amazing difference in my life!
7. How do you prevent relapse? I prevent relapse through the sheer memory of my near death experience. No amount of food is worth feeling and knowing that my health is suffering because of my own food choices.
8. How has your life changed now that you’ve lost weight? The biggest thing that has changed is that I can play with my children! I am also so much more in tune with my body. I have learned to identify what is good and what isn’t in regards to feeding my body well.
9. How long have you maintained your current weight? I have maintained my current weight for at least three months now. I am working (now) on losing a few more pounds. It isn’t needed, but I would like to have a slightly lower BMI.
10. What five tips do you have for other dieters?
1. Always eat for your body, not for your mind or for the attempt to look sexier or prettier.
2. Always eat when you “feel” hungry, not when you are emotional. Opt for other outlets when you are emotional.
3. Always make physical activity a vital part of your day. If it’s raining, do floor exercises inside if you need to!
4. Balance is key to EVERYTHING. Doughnuts are NOT EVIL!!!
5. Live life HAPPY!!! Enjoy your food!