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Healthy eating and exercise for life

Online Weight Loss Brings Healthy Living “Into Focus”

As a past Weight Watchers group leader, Barbara had tried to lose weight before. Yet it took this California wife and mother a routine trip to the doctor and the prospect of heart disease to finally receive the wake up call she needed to not only lose weight, but also maintain the weight loss. “When my blood lipids entered the ‘danger zone,’ my doctor told me that if I wanted to maximize my chances of watching my son grow into manhood, I’d better improve my diet and lose some weight.” Her Web search for an online calorie calculator led her to this online weight loss program. From that moment on counting calories and finding the healthy person inside became Barbara’s passion and the rest is history.

The high point of this history lesson? Barbara’s diligence took her from 155 to 125 pounds, and dropped her dress size from a tight 14 to a comfortable size 6. But success was not only about slimming down and shedding pounds. Through her healthy lifestyle choices, Barbara was able to lower her cholesterol from 250 to 180 while lowering her triglycerides from 163 to 53. Now her heart is healthier too!

Barbara kept a food diary religiously (a tool she believes was instrumental in her weight loss, and will continue to be as she maintains her weight), as well as counted every calorie that passed her lips. Although Barbara does not typically enjoy exercise, she knew activity would be a necessary part of her weight loss goal. She began riding the stationary bike for 35 minutes, five days a week. “If I could tell others one thing about exercise, it would be to do whatever it takes to get you moving,” she says. “Some people look down on reading while exercising because it takes away the focus. I say if it keeps you moving, do it!”

Although the weight loss was slow at times (her longest plateau was 14 weeks without dropping one pound!), Barbara had faith because she knew the program was based on common sense and science. Despite plateaus, she was able to stay motivated by devotedly reading and contributing to the online message boards. She says the message boards provide a supportive community of friends that makes losing weight and being accountable much easier. At any moment of doubt, she could log on and read the thoughts and feelings of others fighting this battle alongside her.

Barbara also knew that no matter how long it took to lose the weight, this period would be nothing compared to living a life of being overweight with health risks. She was able to step back and say, “If I do this, I’ll be slim and healthy for the rest of my life.”

Ten months and 30 pounds later, Barbara recommends that being diligent about tracking what you put into your body is the key to losing weight. Keeping a food diary, measuring foods into appropriate servings and making good habits led to her success. She notes that the convenience of 24-hour available tools was also helpful. “I loved how this online dieting program held me accountable for my diet in a straightforward and convenient manner. The simple, no-brainer approach to weight loss was just what I needed.”

Barbara says that she will continue to use the food diary, count calories, and surround herself with a supportive network the rest of her life. She has made these healthy habits part of a true lifestyle change. She explains this idea further in an excerpt from a message board post:

“It’s like my eyesight. I have to wear glasses, unlike people who are lucky enough to have 20/20 vision naturally. But with the glasses, I see just fine. It’s the same with my weight. I’m not one of those naturally thin people who have built-in calorie limits. I have to impose limits expressly by keeping a food diary. But with the diary, my weight is just fine. So to see well I wear my glasses, and to be at a healthy weight I keep my food diary.”

By changing her routine and ultimately losing weight, her outlook on life changed as well. As a heavy person, there was always a part of her that said, “If I could only lose this weight, I could move on, I could accomplish other things in my life.” Now that she’s reached her goals, she says the shadow hanging over her head has cleared. “I feel I’ve finally fixed a huge problem in my life and now I am finally free to move on – to focus on other things.”

A constant buddy and motivator for her fellow members, Barbara noted some time ago on a message board:

“Listen everyone — YOU CAN DO IT! This program is eminently sound and sensible. It will give you the best chance you have of living a long, healthy life so that you can achieve your fondest dreams.”

Congratulations Barbara! Your determination and persistence are true testaments that it’s never too late to change your lifestyle habits for the better and become the healthier person you’ve always wanted to be!