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When Tom joined Diet.com in July 2011, he was tired of trying every different method for weight loss, only to see limited success. Now, just a couple of months (and over 40 blog posts) later, he has dropped more than 20 lbs, for a total weight loss of 37 lbs so far, and had to punch so many new holes into his belt that it is now basically destroyed!

Tom (or Diz1, as he's known to most of us here on Diet.com) has been a contractor in Iraq for the last year. His work there meant that he had limited food choices - not to mention only one belt! After losing 17 lbs during one of his 30-day vacations in the States, his weight loss plateaued.

That's when he turned to Diet.com for help.

Diet.com weight loss success

Posting his first blog in July, Tom (who was sitting at 220 lbs) wrote, "Maybe doing the blog will help with my goals... worth a shot!" He set his sights on his goal of hitting 205 lbs by the time he left Iraq, and began to blog daily about his everyday successes, plateaus, frustrations, workouts and meals.

Looking back now, Tom says, "I decided to do a daily blog as I went through this process, and the community on the site was very supportive.

"This made me feel obligated to post each day, which then made me feel obligated to have something to post about, which in turn, obligated me to keep pushing myself. My pride wouldn't let me post on a Tuesday (my weigh in day) and say, 'Well... I gained weight...'

"I had a responsibility to keep pushing and lose the weight, not just for myself, but for those who were supporting me."

The accountability certainly paid off! The Diet.com Weight Loss Community followed along as Tom began a new and improved workout routine:

"The vast majority of my exercise during the 42 days of weight loss was done via treadmill, walking 3mph at a 15% incline for anywhere from 20-60 minutes, morning and night."

Yes, that's right. Morning and night. Tom began heading to the gym twice a day around Day 17 of his journey. His commitment to reaching his goal weight was inspiring to other Diet.com members as he steadily increased his incline on the treadmill and the duration of his workouts.

While the workout routine has been a big component to his weight loss, Tom also made efforts to modify his eating habits for the better.

"I had a pretty limited menu, being in Iraq, but grilled chicken, baked fish, veggies, fruits, nuts, olives, and water really made up my entire diet.

"Splitting lunch/dinner into 2 meals helped a lot as well. I would get my lunch, take it back to the office, eat half, set the rest aside, and 2 hours later finish it. The numerous smaller meals theory seems to have helped, as I was consuming far less calories throughout the day, while not starving at any point."

To fellow dieters, he advises, "Find clean, healthy foods you enjoy and really hit them hard."

The awesome changes that Tom was making to his lifestyle really started to add up and, in true "Biggest Loser" style, Tom began to shed the remaining weight pound by pound till he realized he was already nearing his goal weight... only 6.5 lbs left to go with almost 5 weeks left of his time in Iraq!

tom face before and after weight loss

While that did make him feel alright about easing up a bit on the strictness of his eating/exercising routine, he still managed to lose several pounds in the coming weeks - showing him that he doesn't need to be perfect all the time in order to make healthful decisions that add up and make a difference!

His hard work more than paid off: By the end of his time in Iraq, he had not only met his goal weight of 205lbs... he had surpassed it, reaching 200lbs!!

Tom credits a new-found unwillingness to fail as a key component to his recent weight loss.

"Something snapped in me in July and I just finally said, 'I WILL lose weight.' There was no alternative. When I would get tempted by food that I knew I shouldn't eat, I'd simply ask myself which temptation was stronger... bad food, or 205lbs? Keeping my goal in mind as the strongest temptation helped me curb other habits.

"The first week was tough, as I did not see any progress at the first official weigh in. I felt a little better, but the numbers hadn't changed, which was a pretty big psychological blow for me. After the 2nd week, seeing the weight drop was enough to get me right back in the gym, wanting to work even harder to burn more.

"Pushing myself to go to the gym 40 out of 42 days was a challenge, but I kept the end goal in mind, and set mini-goals for each week to keep myself on track."

For those of you who believe that "progress" is only measured by the numbers on the scale, Tom suggests looking at other measures of success:

"While I was not actually measuring my waist... I had to cut numerous new holes in my belt while over here. My pants stopped fitting a while ago, and options are kind of limited here, so I had ...    Continue

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@ 10:32am ET on September 12, 2011
I had already been blogging for I think a week or so when Tom first popped up there. I remember thinking.... a guy on here? First time I've seen that so far! ha ha But I read his blog and automatically knew he was going to reach his goal because he was so determined. I've followed his blog pretty reguarly (not so much lately since school started and I've been running around like a chicken with its head cut off!) and we're even friends on facebook. He's been there to help give me a hug or a kick in the pants when it comes to my diet.
Tom's awesome! GO TOM! :-)

@ 11:23am ET on September 12, 2011
Hi Tom, thats an amazing story, I too have had problems keeping committed to my diet. My story however is a little different from yours, you see I am a truck driver that has a minimum of 11 hours sitting and driving, to add to that my hours of work vary on a daily basis, there are times when 3 hours sleep is all I can get, so finding a viable solution to my problem has proven to be challenging, having said that I continue to do the best I can with what I have to work with, and although I have not lost weight I have been able to control my weight gain. Congrats on your success and enjoy the new you. Respectfully, Carlos.

@ 12:15pm ET on September 12, 2011
great job Tom, your story has inspired me to at least continue with my journey.

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