Success Story: Quentin
|Start Weight||14st 8lbs|
|Current Weight||12st 4lbs|
|Weight Lost||2st 4lbs|
|Working to Rate of Loss||1½lbs per week|
Weight Loss History
Over a number of years my weight slowly crept up almost certainly as a result of an increasingly sedentary working life though in my leisure time I remained reasonably active.
I decided some while ago following all the publicity on the subject to try the Atkins Diet even though I was generally quite sceptical and even a little concerned about the potential health effects of following a high-fat high-protein diet.
On the Atkins Diet I successfully lost just under a stone but the problem from my point of view was that the diet left me feeling very lethargic due to the lack of carbohydrates and I also remained unconvinced that it was a healthy way of eating.
Of particular concern to me was the very low fruit and vegetable intake on this diet, and others like it.
After about a month I decided to stop the Atkins Diet because I felt so lacking in energy and predictably my weight rapidly returned to its original level as my levels of stored glycogen returned to normal.
I decided not to follow a high-fat diet again and remain unconvinced of the long term health implications of these diets.
Have you lost weight before and regained the weight?
As already indicated I have in the past lost weight using the Atkins Diet and by a self-managed calorie-counting diet.
In addition I have also in the past lost weight by continuing with a "normal" eating plan as well as increasing the volume of exercise taken and this has been successful.
The difficulty I have experienced with this approach is that in the past I have at one point or another experienced a variety of injuries which have curtailed my exercise programmes with the inevitable result that the weight loss achieved has been negated.
For a period some years ago I also experimented with a high-protein diet which I lost some weight on.
However, I had similar feelings towards this as I have towards the Atkins Diet in that I did not feel particularly energetic whilst on a high protein diet and I also felt that this was probably not a particularly healthy longer term way of eating.
How being overweight has affected you…
I am fortunate in some ways to be quite tall and the result of this is that my weight can vary a great deal without anyone else really noticing.
I have found over the years that until I am approximately two to three stones over my ideal weight people don't really notice at all and if they do notice perhaps they have simply been too polite to point out my expanding waistline!
"For this reason I have been a fortunately largely unaffected by the reaction of other people or by other people's perceptions of me."
My weight has however had an enormous effect on my lifestyle and mood and has stopped me doing things that I would have liked to have done and has certainly stopped me doing things as well as I could have done.
Examples of this are that in recent years I have enjoyed a much more active lifestyle.
I enjoy running and cycling and elect to spend my holidays where possible in the Swiss Alps mountain walking, all of these activities require a high level of physical fitness if they are to be enjoyed to the full.
"Having, entirely through my own failure to take myself in hand, gained at least two stones in weight I found that I have been unable to run or cycle at the levels I had previously reached."
I also found that as a result of carrying excess weight my walking holidays were more of an effort than they should have been.
Things became much worse when in 2002 I tore a cartilage in my knee (whilst training for a marathon) which resulted in surgery and a lengthy period of rehabilitation.
During this time I was not able to exercise significantly and I gained further weight. The overall effect of all this was a quite profound reduction in my mood and a general loss of motivation and "get up and go".
"Something had to be done and there was only me that could do it."
I lost some weight in 2003 and successfully completed two marathons abroad but I was still well above my ideal weight and was very unhappy to be in this situation, I knew that things could be a lot better, so I acted.
Motivation to Lose Weight
My primary reason for wanting to lose weight is to maintain and improve my health.
A number of events in my life have led me to the conclusion that above all else we should try to maintain our health as best we can.
"It does not matter how much money or how large a house we have, if we do not have our health we have very little and are poor indeed."
I have increasingly read of and seen the effects of being overweight and I decided to make every possible effort to avoid weight related illnesses.
We increasingly live in a society which expects problems to be solved for us or for us to be able to purchase our way out of difficulties.
"Weight related illnesses are an area which we have to take responsibility for ourselves and I was determined to do this."
Secondary reasons for wanting to lose weight were that I wanted to be able to enjoy my running and cycling as much as I had previously and I think within all of us there is a little something which makes us feel that we would like to look at our best, especially perhaps as the years advance!
I had in my wardrobe a number of items of clothing which I could not even consider trying to wear and I felt that at the age of 46 it simply was not good enough for me to just accept this and to continue to buy clothes with a larger waist size.
I knew that if I failed to act now I was probably condemning myself to the next 20 or so years of wearing clothes which were larger than I would have liked and generally being in much poorer shape than I could and should be unless I was prepared to put in the effort.
Looking at things in the cold light of day it simply wasn't good enough to take the easy and lazy route, which is what I was doing.
Discovering Weight Loss Resources
In April 2004 I decided to start a self designed calorie controlled diet, I dug out an old reference book which contained the calorie values of a large number of food items and I developed some recording charts and armed with a calculator and pencil started to record the calorie values of all the food I was eating.
I put myself on a 2000 calories per day diet working on the assumption that in order to maintain my weight I needed approximately 2500 calories per day, I reckoned that on this regime I should lose one to two pounds per week, and I did in fact start to lose weight.
"After a fairly short period of time I got somewhat tired of manually recording everything and started to investigate Internet resources which might be helpful to me."
I believe I had conducted a search for "calorie counter" and one of the sites listed was the WLR site.
As soon as I started to browse the site I realised immediately that it would satisfy my needs exactly.
What I had been looking for was a calorie measured database of foods, the means to record food intake, and a means of calculating and recording the calorie value of any exercise undertaken.
I found that all these requirements were satisfied by the site and I immediately signed up for the three-day trial, following this I became a member and have not looked back since.
How Weight Loss Resources Helps
There is no doubt whatsoever that the site has been a great help to me.
"I think one of the greatest problems of trying to lose weight, which is never easy at the best of times, is retaining one's motivation."
I have found it extremely useful to be able to accurately record everything that I do, including the occasional times when I go off the rails, and to be able to look at this information alongside the results of what has been achieved.
Doing this I have found that the use of the site has strongly reinforced my belief that effort and discipline in at one end yields the results you require out at the other end.
"There is no doubt whatsoever that if one is trying to lose weight there genuinely are no short cuts and it is probably truer in weight loss than anything else that if you do cheat you are only cheating yourself!"
Since commencing my calorie controlled diet and picking up from this and switching to the WLR system I have lost two stones and 3 pounds, or 31 pounds in all.
This does not sound an enormous amount of weight but I try to think it in terms of almost 60 packets of lard, I visualise these in the fridge, if in fact they would fit in.
"It is a horrifying thought that I had been carrying this lot around with me and not only that, I had been trying to run and cycle long distances with this attached to me."
I think now if someone stuck either a rucksack on my back or filled by bicycle panniers with 60 packets of lard I would probably just grind to a halt, if in fact I could get moving at all!
If ever I start to waver in my programme I think about all those packets slowly creeping back on to me and this does keep me on track.
"Using the WLR system has also helped me get a much clearer picture of the balance of my diet in terms of carbohydrates, fats, and protein."
Using the system I have managed to ensure that I have a high proportion of carbohydrates in my diet which provides me with the energy I need to continue to exercise regularly.
Using this system I have found that I have been able to continue exercising even though at times I feel hungry.
I firmly believe that it is probably not possible to actually lose any significant weight without sometimes feeling hungry.
In comparison to the Atkins Diet I have felt infinitely more energetic and healthy using this system, I find that the pattern of eating and exercise that I have now established is completely sustainable and I believe that I have made changes to my eating habits which I expect to be permanent in nature.
Chocolate (plain, preferably organic) will continue to be a treat but in very small quantities as part of a healthy diet and not as a food or meal substitute or as a mental prop.
Other WLR members who use the discussion boards are a lively bunch!
I think I am probably right in saying that my approach to exercise as part of a weight loss programme is a little extreme and and is not to everyone's taste but my objectives in terms of the activities which I wish to remain involved with are perhaps different to those of others.
"I find the discussion boards are a source of fun, which is I think the way it should be."
It would be quite easy to become almost addicted to the discussion boards and it is good to contribute to the chatter and banter, it's healthy for people to have different viewpoints and approaches but I think I'd rather they didn't become the focus of my use of the WLR system.
There really are some very very nice people who use the boards and people are generally most supportive of those who are struggling with their weight loss programmes.
"I have certainly never felt at all uncomfortable posting to the boards and I would advise anyone using this system to give them a try."
The discussion boards are certainly fun, the problem is that using them uses up very few calories and doesn't make much of a contribution in terms of shifting the blubber!
The Best of Weight Loss Resources
I tend to use the site as very much a working tool.
My main use is of the food diary and I have found it very useful to be able to add in recipes of the things I eat frequently.
One of my favourites for example is a fruit and banana smoothie which I tend to have before and sometimes after going for either a running or cycling session, I also have one of these not infrequently for breakfast.
It saves a great deal of time to be able to add items like this to the food diary as a recipe rather than having to add individual ingredients one at a time.
The other area of the site which I use extensively is the exercise diary which is an area which I have found to be deficient in other systems but which works very well on the WLR site, being interfaced directly to the food diary.
I think this is a very good method of linking calorie consumption to exercise and I not infrequently in an evening find myself going out for an evening walk to earn a few extra calories to make sure that I can have an enjoyable supper.
I know personally that I would fail in my weight loss programme if I tried solely to lose weight by restricting my food intake, a combination of calorie control and exercise is far more beneficial for me as it allows me to eat regularly and not feel too hungry too often.
I read the message boards regularly and try to contribute as often as I can, trying to bring a light hearted side to things, but hopefully giving some positive advice and support along the way where I can.
I think if nothing else the message boards let you know that you are not the only one wrestling with weight loss and calorie control which can otherwise seem quite a lonely affair.
Quentin's Tips for Losing Weight
Without doubt I believe if someone seriously wants to lose weight through calorie control the best use of the site is made by concentrating on the food and exercise diaries.
The whole site is quite scientifically designed and if you stick by the rules and generally stay within your calorie allowance, take regular exercise, and weigh and measure things accurately you will lose weight.
I think the worst possible thing to do is to concentrate too heavily on the message boards, though this can be very enjoyable in the short term, in the long-term unless the main focus is on the food and exercise diaries disappointment may well be the result.
In summary eat less, move more, weigh and enter everything, follow the rules, stick to your allowance, have some fun on the boards, and if you can do all that you will lose weight - and deserve a medal.
We all have our little lapses but as long as that is all they are this programme works. There is no such thing as a (calorie) free lunch, not a proper lunch anyway!
Lots of people, like Quentin, have achieved their diet success using the tools, information and support that WLR has to offer. But don't take our word for it - take a free trial and see for yourself
* 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.