Maintaining a New Way of Thinking
Tony was a yo-yo dieter before he re-trained himself and the way he thinks about health and nutrition. He used Calorie Count to learn about nutrition, and the Calorie Count App to look up calories on the go. By changing his habits, and losing weight at his own pace, Tony has lost and kept off over 75 pounds. We followed up with Tony as part of our Where Are They Now? Series. He’s still maintaining his healthy habits, his new way of thinking, and his weight. The picture in this article is of Tony after running an entire 5K for the first time!
Refresh our memory, what was your “Aha!” moment, which inspired you to lose weight?
At 308 pounds, I had surgery which helped me to lose down to 172 pounds. What it didn’t do was re-train my thinking or patterns to keep the weight off. By 2004, I had ballooned back to 282 pounds. I had a strong genetic predisposition for heart disease, which finally caught up with me in 2006.
How did you determine your weight loss goal?
Forget the BMI. I feel you should be comfortable in your own skin. What makes you a happy person? For the past 2 years my weight has fluctuated between 176 pounds and 181 pounds. I am very comfortable in this range. When I get to 180 pounds, I start cutting back on my calories and take myself off of maintenance mode.
What was it like to go from weight loss to weight maintenance? Were you worried about the transition? What helped you the most during this time?
When you come to the realization that you don’t need a caloric deficit anymore, that you actually need to consume more calories, it is a little scary. You never, ever want to gain the weight back. I was worried that I would start the yo-yo cycle again; that’s the way my whole life has been. What helped me most, were the compliments I would continue to receive from friends and family about my “new” weight loss, stepping on the scales, and watching the feel of my clothes.
What are the most challenging aspects of maintaining your weight? Is there any part of maintaining that is more difficult than weight loss?
I mentioned stepping on the scales as helping but let me share one caveat, “Don’t let the scales rule your life!” This is the hardest thing for me to accept. If I go over my 180 weight limit, it seems to rule my day. As far as the difficulties in maintaining and the initial weight loss, both require discipline. The discipline does get easier with the re-training of your thought processes on nutrition and exercise.
Have you ever been tempted to renounce your new healthy lifestyle? Do you still log your food? How do you stay motivated?
I’m never really tempted to renounce my healthy lifestyle but I do fall off of the wagon, we all do. You just have to remember, “We fall down and we get up!” I do not log my food and never did. I am very good at keeping a mental note of my intake through the day and it has served me well. I stay motivated because I like my new way of life. I don’t miss going to the Big Men’s Store or getting out of breath because I walked up a flight of stairs.
How has Calorie Count been instrumental in helping you maintain a healthy weight?
Every morning, I read the blogs and will write input on certain subjects. I also enjoy reading all of the Calorie Count articles and use the app on my smart phone.
What new healthy habits have evolved in the past two years? What else can you tell us about your journey?
I exercise at least 6 days a week, 30 minutes per day. This led to the loss of my last few pounds and is very instrumental in maintaining my weight loss. I also learned to eat the proper foods. I actually enjoy vegetables, fruits, and fish. It’s not that I don’t have the desire for pizza or greasy cheeseburgers; I’ve just decided that the momentary gratification is not worth it.
What advice would you give to people who are trying to lose weight or maintain?
The most important thing I could tell someone is that your weight didn’t just happen overnight, it won’t disappear that way, either. I started my new way of eating when I got home from a vacation in October of 2009; I weighed 256 pounds. My wife and I went on a cruise in January of 2012; I weighed 178 pounds. This slow loss actually re-trained my whole way of thinking; that is my secret of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.