Tracey's weight-loss journey has seen her lose 220 lb, gain better health ,and make some wonderful friends on the CK forums.
What were your weight-control goals?
Back in 1996, when I started on this journey and lost the biggest majority of the weight, it was just to get healthy. Along the "weigh" I decided I wanted to become physically fit as well. I never said "I want to be a size x" or "I want to weigh x number of pounds." I figured I'd know what was right when I got there! I stopped losing weight as soon as my BMI hit 24.9 - and while I could probably lose a few more pounds, I have enough extra skin where I don't want to get too saggy!
What motivated you to lose weight?
I was sick of what I looked like and how I felt. I wanted to be able to do things more easily and to have more energy. I was a single mother and thought it might be a good idea if I stuck around for my daughter. The 67 lb I lost once I found CalorieKing.com were just for me!
What was your weight-loss method?
Back in 1996, I watched what I ate under doctor's supervision, and consumed around 1200 calories per day until I'd lost the first 153 lbs (which took until sometime in late summer of 1997). Then I just sat there until December of 2001, when I decided to get the rest of the way in shape. I don't know why I stopped being as careful about my intake, perhaps because I picked up my master's degree during this time, but most probably laziness - but I decided I'd worked hard enough and didn't work on losing more. One of the things I did WRONG during the initial weight loss period - and during the time I just maintained - is I did not exercise religiously. I exercised maybe two times per week when I was losing weight, then did nothing except day-to-day activities until 12/2001. Because of this, and because of the large amount of weight I had to lose, I have loose flabby skin on my arms and belly. It's toned up QUITE a bit, though, since I now work out with weights (THANKS KELLIE!) three times a week and work out on the treadmill climbing the mountain (THANKS BUTCH) or on the bike every day!
What were some obstacles you encountered while losing weight?
With me, everything is a mental exercise. When I decided I wanted to lose weight, I just went to work. I'd rolled the idea around in my head for several months before I even took the first step. For the first month or so I tried diet drug fen-fen, but didn't like how I felt so stopped that program. At that time, the doctor and I fought about my eating 1200 calories per day - he felt it should be more (he was right) but I was stubborn, and figuring I'd never do it anyhow, he agreed provided I come in for blood pressure and weight checks every couple of weeks. There were days, however, when I think I ran out of calories by 2 or 3 in the afternoon - and then other days when I knew we'd be partying where most of the calories were the liquid variety. Fortunately I always had low blood pressure and suffered no ill effects from eating those few calories - except for a bad case of the chills. Once I decided to lose the remainder of the weight, and discovered how to figure calories per day correctly, I started to eat healthier, and enjoyed planning my meals out in advance.
What tips do you have for others who are trying to lose weight?
Never give up - it is often a long uphill battle, but worth it in the long run! I have seen questions on the boards dealing with the rewards you give yourself for getting to a goal - and when I started losing weight this time, I decided if I could get the weight off and exercise every day for a year I knew I had energy enough to get a dog - so on 12/01/02 I got a Lab. However, this hasn't worked out quite as planned - I wanted to walk him for 45 minutes to an hour before work every day - but he's still a puppy and terrified of the dark! (So off to the gym I still go!) Setting a BIG reward, but for a big accomplishment, is what helped me get through things mentally.
How do you feel now that you've lost weight?
I feel wonderful - and wonderful all the time! I don't get as many headaches, colds, or sinus infections either - which I credit to healthier eating.
How have the products or services offered by CalorieKing assisted you in your weigh-loss journey?
I have both the 2002 and the 2003 Calorie and Fat Counter - one at home and one in my purse. I used the diary when I first started out, but have gone to just a small notebook currently. However, the BIGGEST help has been the friends I met in the forums, especially Butch Costello. I've got him listed in my email address book as "Butch Calorie King Costello". The first week I was using CalorieKing.com I met Butch and Suesun in the forums, and we had a live chat too. Their friendship and camaraderie helped me a lot when I needed the support most! I told Butch I felt like a lamb being led to slaughter! However, the advice and caring that Butch is willing to share with everyone - even if they disagree with his methods or manners - is a god send to a whole bunch of us. In addition to Suesun, I can't think of any members who are not willing to help you on your way - the vast knowledge pool that our members comprise is something very special. And, if all else fails, one of the CK experts give us advice too!