Success Story: Maria
Maria's Calorie Counting Success Story

Becoming more health conscious has motivated Maria to change her eating habits, exercise more and lose 39lbs.

Success Story: Maria

Maria, Age 39, Height 5ft 4½in
Start Weight 12st (168lbs)
Current Weight 9st 3lbs (129lbs)
Goal Weight 9st 3lbs (129lbs)
Weight Lost 2st 11lbs (39lbs)
Working to Rate of Loss ½lb per week

Dieting History

I’ve tried the Cambridge diet which didn’t work as I was too hungry.

Herbalife also didn’t work; too hungry.

On Atkins I ate too much as there was no limit to what you could eat of the right things.

On Slimming World I ate too much of the free foods. Weight Watchers did work to an extent.

Have you lost weight before and regained the weight?

I started to get slightly overweight around the age of 10 or 11.

Although I was very active in my spare time (I cycled everywhere and was always quite active out in the fresh air) I didn’t like to participate in sports at school.

"I think mainly because I wasn’t very good, and because I was a bit overweight."

It was a vicious circle in a way (feeling too fat to do sports, therefore gaining more weight) and so I got more overweight as the time went on.

I’ve always had a bit of a sweet tooth too, so this didn’t help as I got more independent and could go to the shops on my own.

In puberty, I put on a bit more weight and by the time I was 15, I weighed nearly 145 lb.

That was around the time I went on my first diet (by just eating less). By the age of 17-18 I was a normal weight. Then I spent 9 months in the US and when I came back I was 160 lb!

"All those super-sized portions and very little exercise meant I had gained 24 lb in just 9 months!!!"

A few years later I decided to lose weight, so I went on a calorie-controlled diet (without exercise) for about 6 months and got down to a healthy 136 lb.

For the next few years I hovered between 140 and 150 lb, still doing no exercise.

When the weight started creeping up again, I went on a calorie-controlled diet again – this time incorporating exercise, and in just 3 months of starvation and exercise I got down to 135 lb and stayed there for about a year.

I was about 29 years old by this time.

"Then I met my future husband and all those cosy evenings at home together meant that the weight started creeping up again."

Again, I was doing no exercise and before I knew it I was 150 lb again. We decided to get married and I starved myself again for a while, to get down to about 134 lb just in time for the wedding.

After that, I relaxed again and got back to 150 lb in no time.

Then I got pregnant and had my first baby at the age of 34, after which I weighed 168 lb!

I stayed this weight for a year, blaming it first on breastfeeding, then on whatever I could come up with (no time to diet, too hard to diet having to work full time plus taking care of a baby - you name it I blamed it!).

"After a year, I hired a personal trainer and got into running, and lost a lot of weight this way."

Then I got pregnant for the second time and the same thing happened – 168 lb! This time I knew that running would help, and I also joined Weight Watchers to lose the weight quicker and in a healthy way.

I got down to about 147 lb with Weight Watchers but the rest of the weight wouldn’t shift.

"I think I have a big problem with any programme that has any “free” food – I’ll take advantage of this and eat too much of it, even if it is only vegetables!"

After trying Slimming World and Atkins (briefly), I finally discovered WLR and decided that this was the way to go.

I knew calorie-counting had worked for me in the past (although I had starved myself and not done it properly), so I decided to give WLR a go.

I joined in October 2005 and set the weight loss to 1/2 lb a week, to be able to do it sensibly and without “suffering” too much.

Since then, I managed to lose the rest of my weight and got to my goal weight of 129 lb on 19 May.

How being overweight has affected you…

Being overweight has at times stopped me from participating in sports (embarrassment factor) and from wearing what I like (tank tops, bikinis, shorts, etc).

"The weight has ALWAYS been at the back of my mind, even in daily things, finding clothes that would slim me, or just doing normal things that people do on a daily basis."

I’ve always been concerned about how I look to others and I’ve always felt very self-conscious and compared myself to my thinner friends, wishing I looked like them.

Maria Before

Motivation to Diet

My main reason for wanting to lose weight was to be able to wear anything I like.

I love shopping and absolutely love wearing new clothes especially when they fit properly and look good!

I have a job where it’s quite important that I look smart, and this is definitely easier done when you are slim.

In the past 2 or 3 years, I’ve also become a lot more health-conscious and I’ve educated myself regarding eating healthily and how exercise benefits a person.

"I’m really interested in nutrition and exercise, and the more I know, the more I think about what I actually put into your body and how it will affect me."

I’m a very keen runner now too, and the more weight I’ve lost, the faster and more efficient I’ve become at running, and it’s such a fantastic feeling, especially since I was never a sporty person when I was younger.

Discovering Weight Loss Resources

It was actually my husband who discovered WLR. We started doing it together in October 2005, and he has also lost a couple of stone by calorie-counting.

He is different to me though, and has always been very active, so he really didn’t have much of a problem with his weight – it just means that now he’s super-fit, and super-lean.

How Weight Loss Resources Helps

WLR is really great, because it’s easy to use and nearly all the foods I eat are in the database.

If they’re not, all you have to do is ask and they’ll be added. Fantastic! I also love the message boards, where you can get help and inspiration from the other members.

People like to share their stories, their recipes and other ideas.

The WLR helpteam is also on the boards, and very quick to offer advice and support to anyone who needs it.

The Best of Weight Loss Resources

I use the food diary and I like to see the breakdown of what I’ve had (how much protein, carbohydrates, fat and alcohol).

Since starting to use the food diary, I’ve also found that I’ve got used to estimating how many calories different foods and drink have, which is really useful at times when I don’t have access to a computer for whatever reason.

"I also use the WLR message boards regularly and find it such a source of inspiration!"

People are incredibly friendly and supportive, and since everyone is there for more or less the same reason, you get the understanding that you may not always get from family or friends especially if they’re thin!

Maria's Calorie Counting Tips

My best tip is to fill in the food diary and analyse what you are putting into your mouth.

You can learn a lot about healthy eating this way; I have come to a completely different understanding of my body’s needs through using the food diary and really looking at the nutritional breakdowns.

My 2nd best tip is to use the message boards – this has really helped me to keep going at times when I wanted to give up.

I also particularly like the “food ideas” board where you can ask for tips on how to cook something, or what to have for dinner if all you have is 200 calories left, or whatever else you are wondering. Fantastic!

My 3rd best tip is to stay with WLR after hitting goal, to get used to maintenance.

I’m finding maintenance really hard and the food diary is vital for me to keep on track. Hopefully I’ll get used to maintaining this healthy weight soon.

Maria After

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* Note: The success stories published on Weight Loss Resources are written by WLR members, past and present, telling their own stories in their own words. As you will see if you read more than one or two of them, everyone's story is different and they have reached their success from a variety of starting points and lost weight at varying rates. Individual results may vary.

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