Candice is one of us. She didn't go on the Biggest Loser or hire a private chef. And she lost 80 pounds.
She joined WeightWatchers and changed her life. She is a frequent contributor to Snack-Girl and she won the "Eat More Kale" shirt. I asked her a few questions so we could learn from her success.
What would you say is the biggest factor in your weight loss success?
I completely changed my attitude about food. Instead of just using willpower to avoid certain foods while losing weight, I decided to completely revamp my entire diet. I went from eating processed foods, fast food, soda, and just plain junk foods, to eating only whole foods. I eat less now to sustain my weight and I am more satisfied generally when I'm eating.
When you didn't lose weight for a few weeks - how did you keep motivated?
Eating healthy is always better than eating junk. Even if I didn't see results on the scale, I was still treating my body better by staying on track. Eventually, this just becomes habit and goes along with changing attitudes about food. Other ways to measure success beside the scale include general feeling of well-being and measurements.
What foods and habits were the most difficult for you to give up and change?
Eating at night time was always my biggest challenge. I still tend to eat more after dinner than I really need. But I learned that's ok. As long as I'm burning the same amount of calories that I'm taking in, my body doesn't care what time I'm eating. So I just plan to eat more at night and compensate by eating less during the day.
I also love to eat out and I haven't changed that. I just make smarter choices and really watch portion size. Doggy bags are my friend. When I order Chinese food now, I can get 4 meals out of one dish. Before I would eat the entire dish at one sitting. I really over-estimated the amount of food that I needed to nourish my body.
What advice would you give to your "80 pound heavier" self?
"You're wasting your time. You could be making improvements to yourself now." I felt that the weight loss was insurmountable and I spent a lot of time wishing I could change myself and feeling that I was not going to be able to succeed. Once I joined WeightWatchers, I realized that it was in my control the whole time. I just had to commit to the program and do it.
What is your favorite snack?
I change things up a lot. But right now I am really enjoying frozen fruit, either eaten alone or mixed with plain Greek yogurt. I also recently found Gnu bars which are a great "clean" bar for on-the-go. Raw nuts are a great snack as well. Plus, I always enjoy fruit and veggies as snacks.
Please share your weight loss stories below.