"Now it is like clockwork, I input my meals and I don't have to keep track of anything because Carb Manager does that for me. It also keeps me on track and helps me make better decisions."
What made you decide to lose weight? Was there a moment or experience that "lit the fire" for you?
I was tired of being miserable. I left my emotionally and verbally abusive boyfriend of 8 years and then had to move back home. I decided it was time to become me again. I didn't recognize myself inside or out. I wanted to start a new life and become happy with who I was and how I was living my life.
Have you tried any other weight loss plans (low fat, low calorie, or other) in the past? How did they work out?
I've tried them all, weight watchers, raw food, Paleo, caveman diet, low fat, vegetarian, vegan, and a few other fad diets.
Tell us about your weight loss experience. How did you change your diet and lifestyle? How did this affect your life (health, well-being, attitude, energy)?
It started over night. My sister did Atkins in the past and taught me the basics. I just decided at dinner that I was going to do it because I was tired of waiting to be happy. I started eating low carb first. It was a giant change so I worked on changing my bad habits and then I slowly introduced exercise. It became natural though once the weight started coming off. I wanted to move more and feel even better. I started doing more fun activities like hiking, bike riding, walking, even jogging. I became happier with who I was on the outside but still had to work on the inside. It took time to come back from my way of negative thinking. I had to stop thinking of myself in such a negative way or I couldn't expect anyone else to think of me in a positive way.
How did Carb Manager help you stay on track? Which features did you find the most useful?
I am able to input my meals and stay on track. Because I had a larger amount of weight to lose I wanted to stay under 20-25 carbs a day. I am able to make my own food or eat out and keep track of how many carbs and calories I am eating. It helps me plan my meals for the day and also to forget about it once I put it in the app. Before then I was keeping track in my head but I'm sure I was way off. Now it is like clockwork, I input my meals and I don't have to keep track of anything because Carb Manager does that for me. It also keeps me on track and helps me make better decisions. If I am getting close to my daily carb allowance I re-think certain foods that I really don't need to eat. I am also being more mindful of the meals that I eat and what I cook for myself. If I plan on having a certain low carb dessert I am more careful about what I eat before that to make sure that I am still staying under my goal carbs.
What was the most difficult part of losing weight? What techniques did you use to overcome these challenges? What kept you motivated?
Pasta was my downfall, and it probably always will be. I ate it three times a day every day. I had to give that up when I started this diet and it was more of a mind change than a craving change. It was comfort and I needed to readjust what I thought of comfort foods. Now my comfort foods are romaine lettuce and olive oil. I feel better physically after eating now then I did before I started this lifestyle change. Realizing I had a problem and learning how to change it was the hardest part. You will always have people say things like "it's ok, you can have a little", "you won't gain all the weight back if you eat that tonight", or "it's not going to kill you if you eat this". However, I know now that those aren't true for me. I didn't know when to stop or how to stop, I can't have just a little it's not who I am, I need to be strict because that is what works for me.
What do you see as the greatest benefits of going low carb?
As far as I see there are no downfalls to eating low carb! I can eat out-ANYWHERE, there is always something on the menu for me to eat, so when I go out with friends I never feel left out. I physically feel amazing. I look the best I have since high school. I feel good about myself. I can eat amazing delicious things that were once thought to be 'bad' for me so I'm really not missing out on anything. I can eat anything anyone else can with a little bit of tweaking. Also, it works for me and I can stick to it and that is really the most important part!
What's the best thing about being at your new weight?
Confidence. I used to hate being looked at and I feel so ashamed of how I looked. I would hide or sit out but now I stand tall, or get up and dance, or go running around town with out caring what other people think because I am happy with my progress! My fashion sense has really blossomed and I have fun shopping! I feel sexy and that hasn't happened in over a decade. I love feeling sexy and confident.
What are your health & fitness goals going forward?
Become more toned, continue to lose weight and stay in a healthy, active lifestyle. I would like to continue low carb even after I hit my goal because it's my lifestyle now. I want to start lifting weights more and toning to show off what I've uncovered through weight loss.
We'd love it if you could provide a few tips for others just beginning their low carb lifestyle.
Be patient because it didn't take a week for you to gain the weight, it's going to take longer to lose it. Be consistent and give your body a chance to catch up to your head. Have fun with your diet because it doesn't have to suck. Look for ways to make it interesting and you will be able to stick with it. Finally, be prepared. Having snacks on hand at all times cuts bad cravings and habit eating down a lot. If you have something low carb with you to snack on you will be less likely to eat those crackers, or fast food, or chocolate that is all so readily available.