: Salt Lake City, Utah, USA Age
: 57 Weight before diet
: 185 lbs. Weight now
: 143 lbs. (fluctuates a bit depending on how faithful I'm being. It's been down to 138 lbs. at my lowest point
. I have gone from a size 16-18 to a size 8-10.) Target weight
: Anywhere around 140 lbs. is good for me, so I am at my goal.
Her determination to lose weight in the way that suited her best led Kalyn to choose the South Beach Diet
. Having more energy and lowering her cholesterol levels were additional benefits of this weight loss program for her. Read about how Kalyn got rid of those extra pounds and how she's maintaining her weight in spite of her passion for food. -What finally made you decide to start with a weight loss program?
Seeing a boyfriend I had dated 25 years earlier was the final motivating factor for me to lose weight. I had been thinking about losing weight for a long time, but it wasn't until I saw him that I realized how much I hated being fat. -What type of weight loss program are you following?
south beach diet -Why did you choose this weight loss program?
I knew that a traditional low fat type of diet would not work for me. I'm a foodie and always loved to cook and eat. I read about a few of the different diet options and South Beach is the one that just rang true for me. Also I've never been much of a sweets eater, so I thought that would make it easier to stick to South Beach. I was interested in the cholesterol lowering benefits of the diet as well, and was impressed with what South Beach had to say about that. -How long have you been on your weight loss program?
I went on South Beach in July of 2004. In less than six months I had lost 35 pounds. I stayed on the diet until I lost about seven more pounds and by then I was completely converted to the lower glycemic way of eating. Not only did I have a lot more energy, but I was able to quit taking cholesterol medication and now my cholesterol is lower than it was even with medication previously. -What kinds of physical activities do you like doing to help you lose weight and stay fit?
The two types of exercise I've done the most are simply walking outside and doing "Walk Away the Pounds," an exercise program done with a video or DVD. I've been lucky to have a couple of friends at the school I teach who want to exercise after school. I've tried to exercise at least three times a week for the last two years, although sometimes I'm more successful than others at sticking to the routine. I do feel and look better when I'm exercising and want to make it a lifetime habit. -What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome or are still overcoming?
Keeping the weight off is at least as hard as losing it. Anyone who has lost a significant amount of weight knows that. I have actually been very surprised that I've been able to stay committed to the lower glycemic way of eating, but I think it's because I feel and look so much better. -How do you keep yourself motivated?
Since I'm writing a cooking blog, Kalyn's Kitchen
, based on recipes for the south beach diet, that keeps it on my mind! I keep a "week at a glance" calendar by my scale and weigh myself every day and write it down. It's right by my kitchen phone so it's in a spot where I'll see it. If I notice I'm up a pound or two, that helps me to be more mindful of what I'm eating for a few days. I know a lot of diet experts say don't weigh yourself every day, but this has really worked for me. -Do you have any weight loss tips for our readers?
I think it's important to choose a diet based on your own food preferences. For anyone planning to do South Beach, I always recommend reading the entire book before you start the diet. I actually have read the book three times now, and when I'm losing motivation reading it again helps keep me on track.
When I started the diet I went through my kitchen and got rid of the foods I no longer wanted to eat. I also would make big portions of South Beach approved recipes and freeze them in individual sized portions so I always had food that was good for the diet. On the weekend I'd make salad, cut up veggies, etc. to prepare food for the week. I counted out nuts into baggies and prepared other snacks so they were always ready. I think planning ahead helped me stick to the diet.
One thing that appealed to me about South Beach was that you didn't have to count calories or points, so it was easy to remember what foods were allowed, at least for me. I bought a pocket sized book published by South Beach which rated foods as "good," "limited" or "avoid" and that helped me a lot. -Do you think it will be easy to fall back into your old lifestyle pattern? How do you prevent this from happening?
I've been able to keep the weight off for nearly two years. Now that I am at my goal weight I do allow myself to eat whatever I want for special occasions or when I'm traveling, but otherwise I haven't found it that hard to stick to the diet. What Dr. Agatston (creator of the South Beach Diet
) discovered about how eating those quick burning carbohydrates creates food cravings has been absolutely true for me. As long as I don't start eating those kinds of foods (sugar, white flour, sticky white rice, potatoes, regular pasta) I feel great and don't crave them. Also I absolutely don't want to be fat again, so that's what motivates me! Definitely the fact that I'm writing a cooking/diet blog makes me continually have to create new ideas of South Beach approved foods. That helps keep it from getting boring. -Do you have a favorite Web site or blog that helps or inspires you to lose weight?
When I started the south beach diet I wasn't really very much into the Internet. I had a lot of friends who also wanted to lose weight and they started asking me to send them my recipes. For a while I sent out recipe updates by e-mail, and my life really changed when my brother suggested I start a blog to store the recipes. I didn't even really know what a blog was, or that the whole food blog phenomenon even existed at that time. Now, I read hundreds of blogs every day to get ideas for the recipes I'm creating for Kalyns Kitchen
, my south beach diet food blog. I have an extensive list of links on my blog to other sites that give me encouragement.