October 31, 2013

New Joy After Weight Loss

Hailey before (2009)

Hailey after losing 130 pounds
Hailey is a very happy young woman these days. She has succeeded in losing 130 pounds. She feels so good in her new life and she's offered her story to encourage people who are justing starting out in their journey to get fit. Hope you enjoy.

Three and a half years ago, I was 20 years old and weighed 287 pounds. I had always been the person that everyone turned to, the confident and the support system. I had a really hard time putting myself first and talking about my own pain with friends and family who often felt so comfortable divulging what they were going through to me. I turned to food as means of letting out how I was feeling. I used to hide food from my family, do separate grocery shops and eat in my room It took me a long time to realize how harmful this was and how I really felt about my life and my size. I tried to convince myself that I enjoyed my body. I had boyfriends who liked me but I still found it a challenge to look in the mirror.
In 2010, after a break-up with my long-term boyfriend and after attending my cousins wedding (seeing pictures of myself in a dress) I decided to weigh myself and work on things. I started changing how much food and what type of food I was eating and began slowly working up. Walking, some light weights and eventually started becoming more comfortable with pushing my body.
Today, my life is completely different I have lost over 130 pounds, have an amazing man in my life, have been fortunate to have great jobs in the counselling field and am now preparing to move to Whitehorse YT with my partner to start a new chapter of our life together.
Health and fitness means so much to me. I eat clean, I work out several times a week and I feel great about where I am now.
I would love to have my story posted and have the chance to help others with these struggles as I know how hard it can be to get started but how good it feels once you have.

October 30, 2013

Best Tips for Losing Stomach Weight

Hi Everyone,

Sorry for my long absence, I'll be adding a fab new weight loss story here later this week. 

Lose the Belly
The news today is that we've updated the free app "Lose the Belly". This is truly a hugely helpful app filled with quick tutorials and tips for losing weight, especially around the stomach. Video tutorials include;

* The best exercises for slimming the abdomen

* Great nutritional advice for losing weight fast

* Five ways celebrities lose weight

* Amazing photos of people before and after

* Top tips for choosing slimming clothes

* The best yoga poses for losing stomach fat

This app is geared for women, but there is a similar excellent app for men here.

If you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod, check out this motivational app, you will see great results very quickly if you follow the tips in only a few of the fabulous videos provided here.

April 29, 2013

Losing 110 Pounds in One Year

Rishi Lost 110 Pounds in One Year

Rishi had been overweight all his life until age 25. Both his parents were also overweight. When he was in his early 20's he watched his father undergo triple bypass surgery. But at this time he was still not worried about his own obesity. He continued to eat lots of junk food and did not exercise. It was only when he turned 25 and got a serious health scare that he decided to change his lifestyle. 

He ended up in the emergency ward of the hospital and was diagnosed with high blood pressure and high cholesterol. He was given medications to lower these readings. At that point he decided to embark on a journey towards better health. He started walking daily and gave up sugar and fried foods. He made vegetables, lentils and fruits the mainstay of his daily meals. Within one year he had lost 110 pounds! 

Rishi has maintained his health for over a decade now! He has written a detailed story about his life before and after losing weight. It's very motivational, check it out at Weight Loss Glory
Rishi at 265 pounds

One Year Later, Rishi at 155 pounds

January 07, 2013

New Year - New Inspiration to Lose Weight!

Mike after extreme weight loss
Hi everyone, I haven't posted any stories for quite a while. But wanted to get back to it and here is a very joyous and inspirational video to help you in your New Year's resolutions and motivation!

Mike lost over 350 pounds. He lost it in a very short time (in his first 17 months of weight loss, he lost 330 pounds). He was obese all his young life but at the age of 20 a big switch went off (after a car accident) and he completely transformed his lifestyle.

Mike didn't follow any specific diet. He just started eating what he knew was healthy (and not processed food) and began walking... Check out this very inspirational two minute video of his before and after pics;

 He provides this FAQ on his youtube video page;

  1) What diet plan did you do?

I didn't follow any "mainstream diet". I just used common sense and consumed things that are widely accepted as healthy like fruits and vegetables, whole grains (oats, not processed whole grains like in cereals), lean sources of protein such as fish and poultry and overall cut out junk food and soda entirely--yes, cold turkey. Eat less calories than you burn and you WILL lose weight and make it a habit to look at the nutritional facts of food that you eat, being educated is over half the battle. 

 2) What kind of training did you do?

I didn't have access to a gym or a trainer so again I did what instinctively came natural and walked everywhere. I skipped going out to eat with my friends to go for a walk and met up with them after and I was that much better off for it. I walked everyday no matter what, adding distance as the walk got easier. After I lost the bulk of the weight I took up lifting weights in hopes to build muscle mass and fill out my skin. 

3) What surgeries did you have done/do you have any problems with loose skin??

I did not have any bypass or gastric surgery or any weight loss surgery at all for that matter. I lost all the weight entirely on my own. Naturally I have loose skin all over my body. After losing the bulk of the weight I had man boobs and a very large skirt of skin which I was fortunate enough to have removed by surgery and that was covered by my medical insurance. Mine was a severe case, this is not typical from what I hear. 

He also has a highly recommended longer video detailing his weight loss journey here. Mike has managed to keep the weight off for years now and only gets happier and fitter each year. Amazing feat and change of life!

September 17, 2012

Three Key Healthy Foods to Eat More of..

In this quick and to-the-point video the beautiful nutritionist suggests we eat some of these three incredibly healthy foods each day. They are leafy greens, sea vegetables and flaxseeds. Have you had some of at least one of these foods today?

I had some steamed spinach with my scrambled eggs this morning, but this video reminded me that I need to stock up on some dried seaweed (my son loves it and it makes a great school lunch snack).

September 15, 2012

Going From XXXXL to Medium Size Shirt

Shawn Before Losing 140 pounds
At 205 pounds (after losing 140 pounds)

Shawn used to wear an XXXXL (4XL) shirt but now wears a medium size shirt. He's lost 140 pounds. It took him just six months to lose the first one hundred pounds. Another thirty pounds got pounded away by the end of the first year - in Janurary 2010. He got down to under two hundred pounds at one point soon after but is now wavering at a pretty happy 220 or so..

Shawn lost his weight by counting calories. He allows himself cheat days and junk food on a regular basis but says the key is to keep within your calories for most days. His exercise of choice is basketball and the gym.

He started a blog - 344Pounds.com - when he first set out to lose the weight. He sent the 'before' pic and link to all his friends and relatives. This was embarrassing for him but he felt it would be pivotal in motivating him to stick to his goal.

Check out his site, he has some very inspiring posts including some great before and after pics and his first year weekly weight loss progress chart.

There are a lot of people who like to lose weight by counting calories. I've always thought this weight loss method appeals more to women than men. (Weight Watchers is based on this, and seems to be much more popular with women than men, see some success stories on this site about Weight Watchers...) My personal opinion is that whether this is a successful long-term strategy depends a lot on the type of personality you have. For example, in my case, I'm too much of a rebel type, I could never stick to this kind of detailed regiment of watching my calorie consumption all the time. I also think you'd be much more prone to experience hunger and discomfort if you are keeping to your calorie count, but it is based on foods that are not filling and nutritional. My personal preferred route is just to stick to exceptionally healthy foods most of the time. I believe you can eat a great deal of deliciously cooked vegetables, beans and brown rice, never feel hungry and consistently lose weight. I'm the type who would much rather educate myself on the healthiest foods and focus on eating those rather than on counting calories. (See some great info about healthy food here. )

But different methods work better for different people. Congrats to Shawn! Please visit his site.

September 09, 2012

Swimming to Lose Weight - 100 Pounds Lighter Now

Matthew at Start of Weight Loss
Matthew after losing 100 pounds

Matthew weighed 469 pounds about five months ago. He's lost an incredible 104 pounds since then. He still wants to lose another 150 pounds but realizes this may take quite a bit longer.

Matthew did this by completely overhauling his diet and exercising almost every day.

His exercise of choice is swimming and his almost daily schedule includes 225 yards easy freestyle, 100 free sprint, 50 easy free, 100 butterfly sprint, 75 easy free, 100 backstroke sprint, 50 easy, 100 sprint free and 200 more yards to cool down.

I'm not sure what this means in terms of mileage and whether it would be something like a one hour workout or much more? (Please let me know in the comments).

He's limited animal products to less than 20% of his daily diet. He also cut out all sodas and now just drinks water. He's got a really good suggestion about adding nutritional yeast to your diet. Nutritional yeast has no sodium or gluten and is loaded with B vitamins. One of his favorite new meals is to use premade wheat crust, throw some tomato sauce and olive oil on it, pile it high with vegetables and then liberally top it with nutritional yeast. Bake it and you have a very nutritious pizza. He also recommends using nutritional yeast as a spaghetti sauce topper.

Congrats to you Matthew! Hope we hear another progress report soon!

Dinner on Main Street

Slickity Jim's at 19th and Main, Vancouver, Canada

I guess almost every city has a Main street. I live really close to Main and 19th, in Vancouver, Canada. About once a week I go have dinner at a nearby diner.

On my way there, I pass by two international fast food joints, one for pizza and one for fried chicken. The meals at the Slickity Jim's diner cost a couple of bucks more, but the food is so much tastier. (Not to mention that the seating and lighting/music atmosphere is infinitely nicer).

One neat thing about this place is that there's a surprise item on the menu. If you order it, (the Abstract Notion) then you are giving the chef complete discretion as to what to whip up for your dinner.

I almost always order this surprise (though i ask for gluten free..).

So the other day I did my first restaurant 'flash food' photo. I know it's very poor quality and doesn't give you an idea of the wonderful meal I enjoyed. The meal consisted of a grilled chicken breast (which was then quickly fried in an apricot, clove, herb barbecue sauce) a mixed brown rice (with olive oil, red onions, apple and hazelnuts) a boiled egg and pear and avocado slices.

It was a delicious and very filling meal but I'm quite sure it was under 700 calories. (The chef guessed less than 650 calories).

So this place is tiny, and easy to miss if you are walking by. I wonder how many of the people eating their deep fried factory chicken/deep crust gluten pizza at the fast food joints nearby even realize that this place exists as a startlingly better option..

If you have a favorite regular restaurant in your city, would love to hear about it below!

August 30, 2012

Obese to Super Fit in One Year

Brian at 345 pounds
Brian at 175 pounds

Thanks much to Brian for submitting his story. Brian weighed 345 pounds in April of last year. Today he weighs 175 pounds! It's an amazing achievement. 

To start off, i can't ever remember where weight wasn't an issue for me. I've always been bigger, overweight, doctors and parents telling me that i should look towards losing weight. For whatever reason, i didn't think it was that serious. 

Even as a bigger kid, i was able to be active in sports, fit myself (and stomach) into desks and chairs, practically living life as a "normal" person. My parents often reminded me that i am still gaining weight and look bigger. Just as every other overweight person who is in denial, i never stepped on a scale unless it was required through something like a physical at the doctor's office. 

The day came that i realized that as much as i tried to fool myself, i could no longer consider my weight as normal. I stepped onto the balance board for Wii Fit, a game designed for people to lose weight, only to come to the conclusion that i was not allowed to play the game because i surpassed the 330lb limit that is designed by the software. Not being able to play a video game, now that is definitely NOT normal. 

This event triggered my journey towards weight loss. In April of 2011, i took the first steps in losing weight by finally addressing the major cause towards my weight, my diet. I began researching and looking and obsessing about how to lose weight, weight loss success stories, and the keys to losing weight. I began to change my diet and starting to seriously start looking at calories, nutrition, and activity. I started pushing myself towards taking things one step at a time with the simple goal of wanting to become "normal". 

At this point in time, i have lost close to 170lbs. I still have some more work to do but a lot of my focus has now shifted towards keeping my fitness up while trying to build muscle and tone up. I want to continue to challenge myself, continue to push myself in doing things i never dreamed of doing, leading me to make the decision to challenge myself through entering a half marathon. 

I recently submitted a brief story about my weight loss story as well as the struggles of one of my closest family members and friends to attack the challenge of this half marathon together. My essay was selected as a finalist and i need some help for people to vote for my essay to make this dream happen! 

Please vote for my essay as it truly means a lot to me! (Update: Essay contest has closed now..)



August 29, 2012

Losing Pain and 60 Pounds

Congrats to Teri who lost sixty pounds seven years ago and has maintained this weight loss since then. 

She says she used to be a yo-yo dieter all her life and had tried many diets. 

"I had a stressful career, and my position required excessive travel.  I was home on average of three days a month, and mostly I wined and dined for a living (sounds tough, doesn't it?).  When the weight creeps on at five pounds a year, it doesn't seem so bad.  At least not until the 10th year.....

My life as I knew it came to a halt when a suicidal deer ran into the side of my car in November 2004.  I had severe neck and back injuries, and spent the next four months in either my bed or a hospital bed.  Between the myriad of medications and the desire for only "odorless, silent comfort food", that catered pity-party was good for another 10-20 pounds.

When I was finally out of bed, I had the restriction of only being allowed to drive one mile round trip. There was a Weight Watchers meeting 1/4 mile from my house. The Saturday morning I went, I sat in the parking lot and watched the people go into the Church, and watched them come out. I didn't get out of the car. The next week, I went in and joined. That was in April of 2005.

I'd love to say my journey was effortless, without a speed bump or detour, but not true. The first eight months were great - I think I had a loss most every week, and in nine months I had lost 45 pounds. Then I hit a plateau (or was it a mesa), and I did the +.2, -.2 shuffle for the next 3 months.  

As frustrating as that was, I kept trying to remind myself that this was the way I was going to be eating for the rest of my life, and chose to view it as "premature maintenance".  The real issue was that I was unable to exercise (I was barely able to move).  

My doctor sent me for Aquatic Physical Therapy, which over time evolved into water-walking, then water aerobics.  I talk about it in Let's Get Physical Once I started to exercise, I didn't lose that much more weight, but I lost three sizes!  As I've been known to say to my members, "items in the overhead shift during flight", and I was thrilled to put some of my "items" back where they belonged.

I hit my goal in June of 2006 and Lifetime in August. I was ecstatic. I was a different person. I was in a lot less pain (and I attribute that to not carrying the weight equivalent of a 7-year-old on my back and neck every day).  What I didn't know then was that I had not only lost 60 pounds, but I would be looking back seven years later and not have found it again."

Thanks much to Teri for this very inspiring story! She has since become a Weight Watchers leader and finds it the most rewarding job she's ever had. See her blog at Weight Weight Don't Tell Me

August 09, 2012

How Much Weight Do You Want to Lose?

Thanks to everyone who has sent their weight loss stories for posting here. I've been getting some really inspiring stories from people who've lost a lot of weight - typically over a 100 pounds. There are none in my mailbox now so please send me yours if you have one to share! (Please note though, that I'm not interested in promoting any special diet products; just real stories about lifestyle changes..)


But I'm also hoping to hear from some people who need to lose just 10 or 20 pounds. Often those ten or twenty pounds away from ideal weight is the hardest weight to shed. It's not clear how many of the readers who drop by here are in this category of having less than twenty pounds to lose. The last time I asked was a few years ago. I got 462 responses. At that time 40% of readers said they wanted to lose 30 pounds or less, so it seems there are a lot of people who would want to read about this type of weight loss achievement. It's not as extreme or dramatic as losing over 100 pounds but it can be difficult to do.

I'd love to take another poll to ask:  How many pounds do YOU want to lose? But the blogger poll tool is broken so if you'd like to comment instead below, please do!

August 06, 2012

Losing Belly Fat with Rolfing?

rolfing to lose belly fat
Last week I met up with a friend I hadn't seen for a few months. She looked fantastic and had obviously lost weight, especially around her stomach area.  

She was never much overweight before but was carrying extra weight around her belly in the past.   

I expected her to tell me she had started some new regular fitness regimen. But instead she gleefully explained that 'rolfing' had led her to finally lose this belly fat. She's had some digestion related problems for many years and has tried many different things to cure this, but she said rolfing is finally what did it for her.

Rolfing is a unique type of body work sort of like massage but not to be confused with massage;

Where massage works all soft tissues,Rolfers focus their work on a layer called fascia, the sheathing membrane that covers muscles, tendons, and organs. This fascia, like a girdle, gives shape and length to soft tissue.

She said her rolfer had told her that intestines are like sausages ;-). They have a casing around them and over time and with stress or lifestyle habits, etc., these casings become hardened and blockages occur. It's like the intestines freeze and no longer function efficiently. 

She had attended ten sessions (one per week for ten weeks) and she said the rolfer worked on her abdominal area and 'thawed' her intestines. The result seems miraculous to her, her digestion is much improved now, she moves lightly and gracefully and has effortlessly lost weight. 

Well this inspired me very much. I've got some problems with sluggish digestion too and even though my weight is now quite ideal, i do have a little belly bulge at the grand age of 50. I'm pretty sure I will try at least one session with this rolfer. 

But I wanted to throw this question out there, has anyone else attended a series of rolfing sessions and also experienced a bonus benefit of weight loss, and especially around the belly?

July 26, 2012

Low Carb Lifestyle Leads to Dramatic Weight Loss

Dan before at 340 pounds and after at 182 pounds

Thanks much to Dan for submitting his story; 

The sudden death of my wife of 37 years from diet related causes changed my life. I knew I had to make a change or I would be next. For the sake of my children still at home I began to study.

I began living a low carb high fat lifestyle two and a half years ago. I’ve lost 158 pounds, my type 2 diabetes is gone along with a heart condition. I feel great. I’m 6 foot tall and now weigh 182 pounds, that’s down from 340 pounds.

If I can do it you can do it. Read my blog for my story: danmoffett.blogspot.com

Also check out his first few blog posts which are loaded with extremely useful information and resources, including links to some very excellent podcasts you can listen to: Drop wheat and sugar.. 

July 21, 2012

Losing 50 Pounds on the Atkins Diet

Kristine, age 21, is elated that she's lost about 50 pounds. Two years ago she weighed 174 pounds and was wearing black clothes everyday to look thinner. Her mood was bad and she often felt fatigued.

That's when she decided to try the low-carb Atkins diet. The Atkins diet doesn't ask you to count calories or watch your portions. It does severely restrict your carbohydrate intake. She was able to eat all the protein she wanted and never felt hungry.

The pounds started dropping off and when the weight loss started to plateau, she also added exercise. Now, two years later she weighs 125 pounds and in the best shape of her life. She feels very joyful to be so healthy now. See her page on Atkins weight loss here.

July 17, 2012

Average Women's Size in 2012

Here's a couple of interesting infographics I saw today on In Your Face. The average woman's dress size in 2012 is size 14, average height is 5'4 and average weight is 164 pounds. (This is for adult women over the age of 20)