Diet Dispatches

Bloggers share successes

January 10, 2012 

Our three community bloggers made great progress toward their goals in 2011. They reflect today on their successes and share tips to help you slim down and get fit.

Raw confidence

Community blogger Tahira Nyabinghi, 40, of Greensboro, writes: Starting weight on Jan. 1, 2011: 230/ Current weight: 160. Goal weight: 120. Tahira followed a raw-foods diet for the past year.

Q: What prompted you to start a weight-loss program?

My medical condition. I have systemic lupus erythematosus, an autoimmune disease.

Q: What were your biggest weight-loss stumbling blocks and how did you overcome them?

My biggest stumbling blocks were those who were supposed to be my support network. When I achieved a weight-loss goal, they pushed my old food choices. To defend myself against these pitfalls, I kept my losses quiet, thereby keeping them from knowing my true weight.

Q: What did you learn?

I learned that I have the power to change my life. I can control my own destiny.

Q: What's next for you?

I will continue to lose until I reach my goal weight and then will incorporate a personal trainer in my regular routine to maintain the weight loss and focus on promoting a healthy lifestyle.

Q: For you, what has been the biggest benefit of losing weight?

The biggest benefit that I have realized is to reclaim the woman that I am. I was a hidden butterfly and have learned to spread my natural wings.

Q: What advice do you have for others who are embarking on their own weight-loss journey in 2012?

Do not let others control your destiny. You are your best supporter and have the power within your spirit to achieve your goals.

Getting off meds

Community blogger Alan Foster, 50, of Fuquay-Varina, writes: Starting weight on Jan. 1, 2011: 225 /Current weight: 203. Alan used a combination of exercise and smarter eating habits to lose his weight.

Q: What was your goal weight?

My real goal was to come off blood pressure medicine and to do that, I thought I needed to get below 200 pounds.

Q: What were your biggest weight-loss stumbling blocks and how did you overcome them?

As with most families, special occasions such as holidays, anniversaries, birthdays, vacations, etc. are accompanied by big meals or sweet treats and hard to resist. I chose to enjoy them, maintain my activity level and return to smart eating the next day. Additionally, life events (illnesses, trips, weather, etc.) get in the way of exercise routines. The best time to exercise is when you can.

Q: What did you learn?

That maintaining a healthy weight is essential to maintaining health. Due to my weight loss, I was able to stop all hypertension medication.

Q: What's next for you?

A recent health physical revealed I have a borderline high cholesterol level. Because my physician has faith that I will continue to lose an additional few pounds and maintain a heart-healthy diet, he is foregoing any cholesterol-reducing medication for three months. My immediate and long-term goals are to continue to exercise, eat smart and watch my intake of sugar. I believe this strategy will continue to help me lose a little more body fat and maintain a prescription-free life.

Q: What advice do you have for others?

Don't consider the journey as a diet. To me, "diet" implies a short-term deprivation to lose a finite amount of weight or inches or clothes sizes. I have found more success by just staying active and being smart about my eating. Take it slow, stick with it, keep your good health as the goal - and enjoy life.

No more tears

Community blogger Muriel Watson, 37, of Smithfield, writes: Starting weight on Jan. 1, 2011: 326/Current weight: 236. Goal weight: 185. Muriel is losing weight with almost-daily workouts, weekly visits to Medi-Weightloss Clinic and tracking exercise and intake in a journal.

Q: What prompted you to start a weight-loss program?

A photo taken of me during our Thanksgiving dinner in November 2009. When I saw it, I cried the whole way home! I lost my weight by working out at the gym six days a week and eating a low carb/lean protein diet.

Q: What did you learn?

I have learned that when I get upset, instead of turning to food for comfort, I need to go to the gym to work out instead. I get the same comfort from working out that I get from binging out on food. Some say I am obsessed with the gym now, but I'm OK with that. I would much rather be obsessed with a healthy habit than to be held prisoner in a body because of food!

Q: What's next for you?

I only have 50 more pounds to go and know that this will probably be the hardest to get off, but the result will be worth it. I will continue working out six days a week and going to my weekly visits at Medi-Weightloss Clinic. My diet will remain the same even after I reach my goal, because I feel it is a very healthy way of living.

Q: For you, what has been the biggest benefit of losing weight?

The biggest benefits of losing the weight have been coming off all my meds. I have so much energy and feel great. My knees and back no longer hurt, and I can play with the kids without giving out of breath!

Q: What advice do you have for others?

You just have to start somewhere, whether it's parking farther away in the parking lot or eating a fruit and some protein instead of the burger and fries you are used to eating at lunch. Just believe that you are worth it and can do it - and it will happen!!

Follow the bloggers at blogs.newsobserver.com/dieting.

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