As of today, I am 9lbs away from my initial goal of 130 lbs. I've never weighed so little before, so I am not sure if I will want to lose more once I get there, or if it will be too thin for me. There's only one way to find out...
What is your motivation for losing weight?
I like myself and want to take care of myself. I want to have a healthy mind and body. I see being overweight as a symptom of other emotional issues, and until those are dealt with, fat will mask the other issues that need to be addressed.
I believe (finally) that I have a right to look and feel good, to have the best body my physique will allow. I also believe that I have the right to express how I feel and not have to hide away behind layers of fat while I "feed" my emotions with cookies.
What is your weight-loss method?
First and foremost, I log every bite, every nibble. It keeps me accountable. I also do something called caloric staggering. First, I multiply my current weight by 10, then take that number and multiply it by 7 (for 7 days a week), which gives me the total number of calories I can have that week. I vary my calories per day (caloric staggering), and 9 times out of 10, I hit my weekly allotment right on the nose - or under! By having some higher calorie days I can have foods that are normally 'taboo' like burgers and fries or pizza or cake, etc. It really has helped to cement the 'lifestyle change' mentality.
For exercise, I weight train several days a week as well as walk outdoors or on the treadmill, always wearing my trusty Heart Rate Monitor which keeps track of the calories I am burning.
What obstacles have you encountered while losing weight?
The biggest obstacle was my worrying about offending my boyfriend's mom by bringing my own food over to her house. I didn't want her to feel insulted or like I was trying to tell her what she fed her family was "bad" (even if sometimes it was!). This was something I needed to do for me. At first I think she was bothered, but as soon as she started seeing results she was very supportive and even started making some changes herself.
What tips do you have for others who are trying to lose weight?
Don't give up! Be willing to fail and be willing to try again until it "clicks." If you are not happy as you are, work hard to give yourself that happiness. No one else can do it for you. Read books and articles on health and nutrition and exercise (NOT fad diet books) so you understand the importance of what you put into your body. Be willing to experiment with different approaches until you find what works best for you. And above all else, do this because you love yourself and want to be healthy and enjoy your life, as opposed to days upon days of hating your body and berating yourself for how you look. Life is now. Decide to take control of yours.
Also, take food and water with you wherever you go. Pack some lowfat turkey jerky in your bag, or toss in some healthy energy bars, some fruit or nuts. If you start to get hungry while you're out and about or can't stop for a meal, a small healthy snack will tide you over until you can get that meal and just might stop you from getting fast food instead.
How do you feel now that you're achieving success?
Definitely proud. Once I got the basics down it all became pretty easy and routine. I can't believe how much I love having muscle tone. It's pretty hot! *flexes*
Because of the way in which I have lost weight, as opposed to the fad diets, I have had control through the entire process. No one told me what I should or shouldn't eat or when and how much I should eat. My only guideline was calories, so I have learned how to make good choices in any situation. I've learned which foods make me feel fuller longer, which make me hungrier. I can look at a menu and get an idea of what the best choice is based on the ingredients. I like that I am not dependant on someone else's diet plan telling me what I can and can't eat. I have educated myself and that feels great.
How have the products or services offered by CalorieKing assisted you in your weigh-loss journey?
The CalorieKing book helps me when I am traveling or when friends want to eat out. The food database is so awesome. The members are a fantastic resource as well. There are always very motivated and knowledgable people around to answer questions or to discuss specific issues. And of course the food diary has made it so easy to see what I am eating, what I could change or improve on, and what I am doing well.
Counting calories and exercising seem to be the most rational way to lose weight and CalorieKing.com is a great resource to do just that.