Saturday, December 31, 2011

Weight Loss Stories - Part 1

On this last day of the year, I am excited to bring you inspiring stories of weight loss that some friends and family members have shared.  In the days to come, I will also introduce you to tales of retiring early, going back to school, competing in races, and pursing a dream.  Yes – I am ridiculously lucky to have these amazing people in my life!

Let’s start with two ladies who decided to make time for their health and joined Weight Watchers®.  Rachel is a local business owner who had set a goal to lose 100 pounds after she gave birth the second time.  In order to achieve this, she says “I went to meetings every week. I followed all steps and rules. I made it a challenge. I embraced competition.”  Rachel was able to meet her goal of losing 100 pounds without changing her end goal and by looking into herself to know what it was she needed and desired.  Looking back, the only change she would make:  “I would not have made it a goal, but a life long achievement.”  Seriously incredible!

Dina-Marie and I connected on the Daily Challenge.  When I learned she was a health coach I was beyond excited.  Imagine being able to have a job that helps others find their healthiest self?  You can learn more about this here.  Dina-Marie also joined Weight Watchers® with a goal of losing 90 pounds by attending every meeting for a year.  She has made it halfway to her weight loss goal and did follow through with attending every meeting for a year.  Dina-Marie knew that baby steps were the best plan of action for her.  She received words of encouragement if she had gained weight at a meeting and lots of pats on the back from friends and family while she lost.  Steering clear of vending machines and incorporating healthy snacks has helped with her food struggles.  Dina-Marie is continuing her aspiration and says “I wouldn't do anything differently because this is life and life is a journey.  I believe things happen for a reason, so I accept those reasons and try to move forward.  Life is a series of decisions.  Don't like the last one you just made?  Make another one.  It’s OK.  You don't need permission from anyone.”

My dad and step-mom found themselves on a heart-healthy diet after Nancy had emergency gall-bladder surgery.  Following guidelines of what to eat and what not to eat led my dad to “Completely change the food buying/eating habits we'd built over a lifetime. Knowing that it was not only good for us but deciding that we would be eating this way the REST OF OUR LIVES was very important. Trying fresh fruits and vegetables that I'd never tried, but found that I did like them, was a fun surprise. I'd often eaten whole grains and the more the merrier, so that part wasn't hard.”  My dad lost 60 pounds, putting him back at his high school waist size, and my step-mom (who used to have to try to gain weight) is feeling better, swimming, and looking great!

A super motivating friend from the MOMS Club surprised me when she answered my goal questions by saying that she had wanted to lose 40 pounds before getting pregnant.  (Yes – before she got pregnant.) Madeline looks fantastic and is a warrior in the gym so I couldn’t believe she was ever not in shape.  She started with the Discovery Health Challenge and then joined a gym.  Madeline’s advice for getting started and keeping it up:  “I worked with a trainer at first just to introduce me to the machines. But the biggest step was trying any and all classes that the gym offered. It is very important that you find something that you really enjoy so you will stick with it for life. I fell in love with kick-boxing and weight training.  But it is also important to remember that your body gets used the exercise that you do all the time so make sure to switch it up. This will also help you not to get bored with the same types of exercise.”  After reaching her goal – and getting pregnant with an incredible little girl – she only had to lose 20 pounds of pregnancy weight. Madeline was a regular at the Gold’s Gym here before moving to New York and I am sure she is wowing them up there.  One thing she would change?  “I would have enjoyed meeting my milestones more. You work so hard to reach your goal and then when you get there you don’t stop to congratulate yourself.”  

More weight loss stories to come!

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