Aileen's Calorie Counting Success

Aileen used calorie counting to put a halt to further weight gain. Read how her new figure gave her the motivation to continue and lose 1½ stone.

Aileen's Calorie Counting Success

Aileen, Age 34, Height 5ft 5in"
Start Weight 71kg (11st 2½lb)
Current Weight 61.7kg (9st 10lb)
Goal Weight 62kg (9st 10½lb)
Weight Lost 8.3kg (1 st 6½lb)
Working to Rate of Loss 250g (1lb) a week

About Aileen

I am an office based worker, managing a typing unit.  I spend a lot of my spare time running, cycling and swimming (about 10 hours per week). 

I also enjoy socialising with friends, sometimes in the pub or out for meal, other times at sporting events.

I have been married for 3.5 years and have no children, just a cat, who has a much stricter food regime than either of us, no treats for her!! 

Aileen On Her Wedding Day


"When I started with wlr my husband was supportive, but he carried on with his usual eating habits, putting a lot of temptation in my path."

This has caused me to slip back into bad habits over the years, although getting back to wlr has always sorted that out.

Now, however, my husband is into running and triathlon and has become quite serious about it in the past couple of years.  He is a lot more aware of what he is eating now, which means less takeaways and alcohol, making my food intake much more sensible.  I have even converted him to wlr ... although he is using it to ensure he is eating enough calories, he burns that many doing massive exercise sessions.

My work is office based and I do spend most of my time sat at a desk.  However, I work 9-5 so I do have a good routine. 

There are occasional nights out, but they are quite few and far between, so easy enough to manage. 

My gym is only five minutes from the office, so I have no excuses come 5 o’clock that it is too much hassle. I’m usually the one bringing in the cakes (as I love to bake) so at least I know how much is in it if I do get tempted.

What diets (if any) have you tried in the past?

"Prior to joining wlr, I had never been on a diet and didn’t even know what I weighed."

I had always done some kind of activity through school, university and travelling in Australia including hockey, volleyball, swimming, running and the gym so was comfortable that I was doing enough to not worry about my weight.  However, looking back on it, I know that wasn’t really the case. 

I did do sport, but never at any great effort and I was eating way too much.  I was known in my first year at university as the one who would take any left overs! 

I was also known at the Sports Bar on campus for my double chicken burger, chips and onion rings followed by warm chocolate fudge cake. 

Aileen Before - "I have no desire to be as heavy or round as I was"

The change in attitude came when I sustained a running injury which meant I couldn’t exercise other than a bit of swimming for a number of months. 

For some reason I knew then that I couldn’t use the exercise argument anymore and that I was likely to put more weight on during this period if I didn’t do something.  So I went looking for a calorie counting website and found WLR.

Very quickly I could see that a lot of my eating habits, even the ones I thought were healthy, were having a massive effect on my calorie consumption. 

Tell us how your weight has affected you

I have to say I was never aware of my weight actually affecting my lifestyle or stopped me doing anything.

In fact I think I am a lot more conscious of these things now that I have lost the weight, but in a positive way, in that I get compliments about how I look etc, which I didn’t get before. 

My running times have also improved significantly over the years. 

Before I started wlr I ran 10k in 1:06:24.  The year I initially lost the weight I ran the same race in 00:59:40.  My most recent 10k PB was 00:51:09.

What has been your main motivation to lose weight?

"Initially it wasn’t a motivation to lose weight; it was a desire to not put any more on." 

However, once I realised some of the things I could do quite easily to change my lifestyle and lose weight, my motivation did change, especially as I found I had a figure and was able to do more exercise.

Which tools and resources on wlr do you find most valuable?

I use the food diary mainly and on the occasions when I have become complacent and not completed it for a while this is always when the weight starts to creep back up. 

As soon as I get back to the daily recording I can get back to where I should be.

I do look at the forums although I don’t post very often.  I find there is enough advice being given which is helpful and I tend to only comment if I feel strongly about something someone has said. 

However, it is clear that they offer a huge amount of support and advice to many wlr users.

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Have you purchased/used any products/fitness equipment that has helped you with your goals?

Other than the essentials for running, cycling and swimming I don’t purchase any fitness equipment, although I do spend quite a bit of time at the physio/sports masseur. 

It would seem an increased level of exercise/fitness can have its drawbacks too if you are not careful!

Why do you think wlr has helped you lose weight where other diets have failed?

Having not been on any diets, I don’t know if I would have been successful with others, but I think I would have found other methods too restrictive/complicated. 

"The simplicity of calories in/calories out works for me. I can have a piece of cake or a drink if I want"

... I am just a lot more aware now of the impact this has and know I can’t do this every day.

Have you struggled at points in your weight loss journey? Experienced a weight loss plateau? What has kept you motivated?

I have had times when I have stopped using wlr because I had reached the weight I wanted and figured I would be fine to maintain that without recording anything, but I have found this is not the case. 

I obviously need to have something in place to keep my food intake under control. 

I do have times when I choose to not watch what I am eating all the time, such as holidays and around Christmas and am accepting that I may put some weight on. 

However, I have never gone near the weight I was back at the start and I know I can control it now.

I get told a lot of the time that I must be able to eat whatever I like, being slim and doing the amount of exercise I do. 

Bizarrely this comment helps keep me motivated as I often find myself explaining that it isn’t actually the case and I still have to be aware of what I eat and it regularly reminds me of what I am working towards.

Since losing weight can you give some examples of how your life has changed?

I have increased the amount and extent of exercise I do.  Before losing weight I was plodding round 5k race for life etc, but since losing weight I have completed half marathons and a marathon.

I have got into triathlons as well. 

I do more intense workouts now including interval sessions and tempo runs, which were things that I would never have considered a few years ago.

I am a lot more conscious about what I choose to eat. 

That’s not to say I am always good and I am still not very good at resisting temptation, not helped by the fact that I love to bake. 

However, I know I have no desire to be as heavy or round as I was ... and it is this that keeps me motivated to be careful about what I eat the majority of the time.

Exercise routines adopted

  • Regular cycling
  • running & swimming (doing two sessions per day during the week)
  • a long run/bike at the weekend

What do you love about your body now?

"I have a lot more general shape and definition rather than everything just being round."

It looks so much better in clothes. I can wear more fitted clothes and they actually fit properly rather than bits of me bulging out. 

I have a lot more general shape and definition rather than everything just being round.

Aileen's Hints and Tips

When I first started wlr there were some changes I made to my diet that made a massive difference almost immediately – switching from full fat coke to diet coke, cutting down on fruit juice which I was previously drinking like water thinking it was all good for me!

Choosing lower fat/calorie options as well for some of my favourite foods. 

Not all healthier options are nicer, it is a case of trial and error, but there are enough options out there that you should be able to find appropriate replacements for your favourites. 

Although I wasn’t actually exercising when I initially lost my weight, I find it is essential to my lifestyle now and gives me more options in terms of what I can eat. 

I have always stuck to a 250g weight loss because I know I personally would struggle with my calories being any lower. 

You need to work out what works best for you... it may take longer, but if it is a more reasonable level you are more likely to stick at and the weight will gradually come off.

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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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