08 September 2013

Weight Loss Success Story: How Elizabeth Lost 150 Pounds

When someone loses a lot of weight, they get "How'd you do it?!" kind of question a lot. Elizabeth of The Singing Bird is remarkable for her 150-lb weight loss. In an exclusive interview with Her Weight Loss Diary, she tells how she has overcomes weight loss obstacles and shares how she keep motivated to finally lose the weight for good. 

In case you have missed, Elizabeth has also wrote a guest post How To Get Social While Keeping Your Diet Intact.

Don't forget to share in the comments, what is the best lessons you've learned from the journeys of others?

Her Weight Loss Diary (HEWLD):  You have lost over 150 lbs - What is the biggest factor in your weight loss success? 
Elizabeth (E): The biggest factor is tracking. When I am not tracking my food intake, I never lose as much weight. It's easy to think you're eating in a particular calorie/point range, when really you're eating too much. So, I try to track as much as possible. Find a way to track your food that works for you, whether it's a journal or something online like Sparkpeople (what I use) or my fitness pal. How many calories you will need to eat will vary, so if you go to a site that has the calorie counting, there are ways they compute it for you to take out the guesswork. When I first started out I ate around 2000 calories per day. 

HEWLD: How long does it take to see your weight loss result? 
E: If you are just starting out and being honest with your food intake (like measuring things and not overeating) and exercising, you should definitely see a loss in even the first week. You usually will lose more in the beginning, however, every person is different. I consistently lost weight every week for the first year. The closer I am to my goal (still about 20 pounds away) the harder it gets to lose. A good thing to do is find a pair of pants that are too tight, and try them on every few weeks, and then you can really see that you've gotten smaller, even when the scale doesn't move much. Someone who isn't very overweight will probably not have huge results each week. It's easier to create a calorie deficit when you're very overweight–like I was at 325 pounds. 

HEWLD: When you didn't lose weight for a few weeks - how did you keep motivated? 
E: It's hard to stay motivated when your weight doesn't budge. There were times I've been discouraged and gotten a little off track, but I always get right back to what I know I need to do, which is count calories, drink a lot of water, and work out. I know that even if I am not seeing a huge change in the scale, or even my clothes, that I am still living a healthy lifestyle, and eventually, it will pay off. 

HEWLD: What foods and habits were the most difficult for you to give up and change? 
E: I still have a hard time not overeating when we go out to eat. It's hard to see everyone else eat certain foods. That is why I try to limit how often I eat out. Also, I have a hard time not overeating things like candy and ice cream, so I don't allow much junk food in the house. Occasionally I still have a problem with binge eating, so if the house is full of sweets, it only makes it worse. 

HEWLD: Diet or exercise - which one helps you lose weight faster?
E: I think they are both equally important. For me, unless I am on point with both of them, I don't lose weight. Everyone is different, and some people are able to eat a lot and as long as they exercise, they lose weight. I am not one of those people. When I was training for a half-marathon last year I barely lost any weight. I was running so many miles that I thought some extra snacks wouldn't hurt, but they did. What they say about you not being able to out train a bad diet is true. 

HEWLD: Can you share your diet plan and workout routine? 
E: I don't follow a specific diet plan. What I do is try to eat a variety of healthy foods in a balanced way. Currently, I eat around 1600 calories per day. I don't do low carb or low fat, but I eat "good" carbs like oatmeal, brown rice, lentils, fruit and whole wheat bread. I avoid foods that don't give me much nutrition (junk food) but still have them on occasion. I've found that moderation works for me, so I won't say no to an occasional cupcake at a birthday party or something. I just don't eat those things every day. On my facebook page, From Fat to Fit, I have a photo album where I've taken pictures of many of the meals I eat. I don't make anything too fussy or complicated. I eat things like oatmeal and eggs for breakfast, and sandwiches fruit and yogurt for lunch, and then some sort of meat or fish for dinner with veggies.

As far as working out, right now I am doing half marathon training, so it's 4 days a week of running, and one cross training day where I do the elliptical or bike, and I do some strength training on a couple of those days (various machines at the gym, or I use my own body weight to do push ups, crunches, squats, etc). Before the half training, I ran 2-3 times a week and I did Jillian Michaels' workouts. Typically, I work out 5 days a week for about 45 minutes each time. When I was first starting out, I just walked. It was all I could do then because of my weight. 

HEWLD: Do you believe in "cheat days"?
E: Not really. I believe in eating well most of the time, but if I have the calories and I want to have a piece of pizza or something, I will. For me, it just works better than having one big meal out. I don't worry about counting calories for my birthday dinner or Thanksgiving. I think as long as you eat well most of the time an occasional splurge is ok, but I don't consider it cheating. While I try to eat healthy most of the time, I don't think it's horrible to have some ice cream sometimes. I think just the term cheating can bring up negative thoughts about yourself and food, and I don't like that. 

HEWLD: How do you make sure you stick on your diet plan at social gatherings?

E: This is hard for me, and I've definitely slipped up before, but I've found that with a little planning it's easier. I try to find out what food will be served, so I can sort of estimate the calories. I will try different things, but keep the portions of them small. If there are sodas, I try to just have water to save calories, but I will occasionally splurge on wine. Never go to a party or dinner starving, because you just end up overeating. I make sure I've eaten well during the day and sometimes will save some calories, but I don't starve myself beforehand, because then I know I'll eat way too much. 

HEWLD: What advice would you give to your "100 pound heavier" self? 
E: You will have bad days and good days. Just know that you can do this, and even when it's hard and you want to give up, don't. 

HEWLD: What advice would you give to your "50 pound heavier self?" 
E: Don't be scared to attempt running because you think only thin people can run. You will be great.

Pictures are copyrighted by Elizabeth of The Singing Bird. Do you have an inspiring weight loss story? Share your success story here. You just never know how your story could change someone else's life today.

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  1. This is amazing! It's awesome what can be done with hard work, perseverance, and a positive attitude. Love it!

  2. Very amazing. What of the best weight loss stories I've read. I also like what she says about not using the term "cheating" because it brings up negative thoughts about herself and food.

  3. Hi Tamara. Glad you share your thought here. Dieting doesn't means you are going to be socially isolated, does it? I love her tips on sticking on a diet at social gathering. I need to hear that, that is one of my weakest point.

    And thanks Carla, for stopping by. I love your Tuesday's post as well. The inspiring stories you featured in your blog never fails to inspired.

  4. Wow!! Well done to Elizabeth, those transformation pics are amazing. Really inspirational :)

  5. Wow! She looks totally different and so much younger! Great job and good luck to her on the last leg of her weight loss!

  6. This is so great. I wish I'd had this kind of motivation 100 lbs ago. I lost 100 lbs, but I had to undergo weight loss surgery to do it. It's still been a hard road, but I really admire those that have been able to do it on their own without it!

  7. Oh, I love stories like this! I think the best lesson I've learned from the journey of others is that it takes patience. Weight doesn't come on overnight and it will not come off overnight either.

    Asphalt & Trails

  8. Awww, she's done such a great job! Thanks, Honey, for sharing her story.

  9. I love reading what she has to say - especially about "cheat" meals. I don't love that term either - I use it because there are times that it is exactly what I'm doing - it's those "all bets are off" times that I want to get rid of. I think we have to find a way to let some of those not so perfect foods into our diets (and by "diet" I mean the food we eat, not a diet plan). This is life and we won't be able to ever feel like we've been successful if we're always concerned with an all-or-nothing "diet" that doesn't help us feel like "normal" healthy people when it comes to food.

    Oops! Didn't mean to write so much, thanks for sharing this inspiring story!

  10. Wow Elizabeth is so inspiring - she did it, she's living the dream :)Great questions btw!

  11. So happy to share this inspiring story of Elizabeth. Thanks to Elizabeth for sharing her journey in such beautiful way. And dear all, thanks for visiting and commenting. You're being so supportive!

  12. When it comes to weight loss, there are many ways that you can consider on achieving sexier figure. You just need to make lots of effort for your weight reduction plan. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  13. wow greath job congratulations :)

  14. There were times I've been discouraged and gotten a little off track, but I always get right back to what I know I need to do, which is count calories, drink a lot of water, and work out. Mike Hunt

  15. Wow, that is crazy amazing! I would love to do some weight loss in Toronto! Where do I start? I'll take all the advice I can get.


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