The people who inspire you the most are usually your friends or family. You can relate to their challenges because you know them.
My friend, Jason, has lost A LOT of weight and he has 2 kids that are the same age as mine - and I find him inspiring! He took some time out and answered these questions about his healthy eating/weight loss success:
Snack Girl: What would you say is the biggest factor in your weight loss success?
Jason: My wife and I look for opportunities to teach our kids - ages 3 and 7 - healthy habits. I was not a good example at 222 pounds, so I decided to make an effort to change my habits in 2011.
Plus, I wasn't about to replace my entire work wardrobe for the love of chocolate.
Snack Girl: How long did it take you to lose the 39 pounds?
Jason: It's taken eight months of daily work - not painful or difficult work - just a little bit of restraint and a dedication to making healthier choices. In total, I've shaved 6 inches from my waist and a total of 39 pounds.
I don't workout often - see two kids - but I do make an effort to be active for 5 minutes of every hour. I try to exercise in earnest for one hour, 1 - 2 times per week.
Snack Girl: You mentioned that Snack Girl has helped you lose weight (hurray!) and MyFitnessPal. How did you use these resources?
Jason: Information is power. Resources such as Snack Girl and My Fitness Pal gave me the data needed to make dietary tradeoffs.
For example, I can have two slices of pizza, or alternately, a Chinese Chicken Salad and a small cookie (as well as save a few calories for the next meal, or not). I like being able to make these choices and still enjoy most of the foods that I love.
I still eat pizza, nuts, granola, dessert, etc., but I eat less of them or different brands that feature better ingredients (thanks to Snack Girl). My Fitness Pal helps me plan/calculate my daily diet, and Snack Girl helps me shape a wider or macro game plan.
As a side note, more evolved websites, applications, and programs like Weight Watchers include a peer component, but I didn't use these resources. I think group and peer resources are helpful for some, but I'm a dude/dad and my spouse was a great support. A good digital scale also helped.
Snack Girl: What would you say to your "39 pound heavier" self?
Jason: My 39 pound heavier self should know that the long view is important in weight loss. It took me two kids and many years to gain the weight, and it only took a fraction of that time to lose it.
The heavier me should not be discouraged by the occasional lapse in regimen or the random pound-plus (or three) here and there. It's okay to have a few beers, eat a nice slice of cake on your birthday, etc.
Snack Girl: What is your favorite snack?
Jason: Pizza is one of the food groups, right? My favorite snack right now is Newman's Pop's Corn (300 calories per bag/100 per serving) and Trader Joe's Kettle Corn (110 calories per bag). Almonds aways satisfy, and Hershey's mini candy bars are only 40 calories each; I tend to have three as a snack.
Another side note: I ended up replacing my slacks and jeans due to the weight loss, but I sold all of my larger pants and jeans on eBay and at a local clothes exchange for more than $175 - a small, nice downpayment on my new clothes. :-)
Thanks, Jason!! - you gotta love EBay and consignment stores. I also think it is awesome that you recycled instead of tossing your old clothes out. You are healthy and GREEN.
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