My girlfriend Melissa just recently shed 30 pounds!! I am so proud of her and just had to share her weight loss success story with all of you! I’m sure as we head into February, some of you are possibly still in the ‘New Years Resolution Mode’ to get healthy and lose weight, so I hope Melissa’s story will motivate you to stay on track on reach your 2011 health goals. I recently asked Melissa a few questions about the ups and downs of her weight loss journey, and here is what she shared with me……..

1. Tell me what inspired you to lose weight? I didn’t feel like myself anymore; I saw someone different when I looked in the mirror. When I looked at pictures of myself compared to a few years back, I would be very disappointed. I would try to avoid social events because the conversation of my weight would sometimes come up. Not always in negative way, but I was surrounded by family and friends that maintained a healthy lifestyle for the most part. I know something needed to be done considering I wasn’t always overweight and I knew my goal was achievable.

2. How has your diet changed? What did you used to eat vs. what you eat now? I traded my medium double double to milk instead of cream. For breakfast, I would have a Bagel Breakfast Sandwich or Bagel with Cream Cheese. Now I have a whole wheat English muffin lightly buttered or with peanut butter. The food courts are filled with burger joints, pasta/pizza places, and international food which always consists of processed ingredients and starched carbs. I would purchase my lunch 5 days a week and give in to all of the above! Now I try my best to make my lunch to avoid the temptation. If I do purchase my lunch, I decide what I want before I leave my office so I don’t steer off track. I usually stick to a salad with chicken or salmon with light dressing. When I was planning my wedding, dinner used to be the worst meal of the day. My husband and I were running around to appointments, so we turned to fast food almost every night. Not just any fast food, the worst of the worst…big macs, quarter pounders, and deep fried chicken sandwiches. Now all our dinners are home made. I think this was the most significant change. We eat as soon as we get home and we bake or sear our protein with minimal olive oil. We include healthy side dishes like vegetables or salad. We also cut down our portion sizes instead of making a meal that would normally feed a family of 4! I also replaced my can of coke with water. Popcorn is my favourite snack. Instead of reaching for a bag of chips I make fresh popcorn, but not the buttery microwavable popcorn. I pop plain kernels the ‘old fashioned’ way!

3. How do you feel now that you’ve shed 30lbs?! It’s almost indescribable! Getting ready for social or formal events are no longer a chore. I’m actually excited to leave the house. I feel much more confident. I have much more energy and I feel much younger. Like a whole new person!

4. Did anything derail you from your diet? Of course. I’m not perfect and I’ve had a couple of ‘cheat’ days. When I first started eating differently, I noticed that if I was unreasonably strict then I would be more prone to binge. So I try to meet myself half way and with time I don’t get the same ‘bad’ urges. This week for an example, I went out for dinner with some friends and at the end of our meal they all ordered dessert. I couldn’t just sit there and watch them indulge. How can I resist? So I ordered dessert as well. But instead of ordering a large piece of cheesecake, I ordered the smallest dessert they had. It was actually called “the world’s smallest brownie”. I try not to let it happen often, but we’re all human.

5. Did you have a lot of support from family and friends? Yes I did, I don’t think I could’ve done it without them. Firstly, I had Sam’s famous blogs reminding me that eating healthy will make me feel better both internally and externally, I really listened to you and it worked! I made cautious decisions when grocery shopping and when I read your blogs it makes me feel like I’m part of a team that cares about what they eat. I also had my family and friends complimenting me on my appearance and kept encouraging me to continue, it really made me feel good. And lastly, my husband was very supportive in changing his eating behaviours as well. We don’t keep fatty or processed food in the house so we’re not tempted. It really helps your motivation when you are surrounded by supportive people.

6. At any point, did you feel like giving up? At first, yes! It’s hard to see the physical difference your changes are making in the first few weeks. Although I know I was making a better choice for myself, I wanted to see the change in my body immediately. I gave up many times before for that reason alone. But I was confident that I would start seeing the result shortly so I stuck to it this time. I also try to weigh myself daily, I know that might be a little excessive but it really gives me the motivation I need to continue. Even 0.5 to 1 pound loss is an achievement!

7. Any fast and easy recipes you’d like to share? The easiest recipe I know is a bocconcini salad. It’s easy, tasty and doesn’t leave your kitchen in a mess.

Recipe:

  • 2 bocconcini balls
  • 3 medium sized tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt, Pepper and Oregano for taste

Instructions: Slice tomatoes and bocconcini. Arrange on a plate by alternating between tomatoes and bocconcini overlapping each other. Drizzle the olive oil across. Add the salt, pepper and oregano to taste.

8. What advice can you give to someone who is unmotivated to lose weight? Think back to a time in your life when you were more confident about your weight. You might even want to dig through some of your old photo albums. Remember how good you felt?! You can look like that again…or even better!

9. I really hate the word diet! Please tell me this is a Lifestyle change for you?! Of course! To me, diets are a fast (mostly unhealthy) way of just losing weight. In past experiences, using a program for ‘rapid weight loss’ is a gimmick. And if you actually lose the weight, once you’re off the ‘diet’ you will gain it right back and even gain a few extra pounds. I’ve been there! By changing your lifestyle and making healthy choices, it will become a regular routine. You won’t even have to think about it, unhealthy food won’t be appealing anymore.

Melissa, I am so proud of you and I can’t thank you enough for sharing your story with everyone. I know you are going to inspire others to make a change! New years resolutions or not, we all need to take responsibility for our health and know that we can reach our goals! If Melissa can do it, so can you!

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