Click Away Flab :Melissa Hill
Melissa Hill was able to lose pounds with the group support of an online community .
Name Melissa Hill
Job Legal assistant
Weight before 283 pounds
Weight after 135 pounds
Has kept it off 2 years
How She Lost It: Three years ago, Hill was tired of not being able to climb a flight of stairs without stopping to catch her breath. She decided to go it alone — with the help of an online weight-loss group. Every day, she logged her food intake and visited the message boards. “It gave me more independence [than weekly meetings] and 24/7 access to a supportive community,” Hill says. She started exercising slowly with beginner-level DVDs for just 5 to 15 minutes a day. As she got stronger, she took Spinning classes and worked out on an elliptical trainer and weight machines. When her weight dipped below 200, she started running. She went online, found the Couch-to-5K Running Plan (coolrunning.com), and has been racing ever since.
How She’s Keeping It Off: Still entering in and training for 5-Ks, 10-Ks, and half-marathons, she plans to run her second marathon this summer. “I run in whatever race I can find,” she says. Hill exercises 5 to 6 days a week for about an hour, at a much higher intensity than when she was losing weight because her fitness level has improved so much (“and because I don’t have an extra 150 pounds on my frame!”). All that activity means Hill can eat 2,000 to 2,500 calories a day — at least 500 calories more than she did during her losing phase. How does she know? She still uses an online food journal. “It’s too easy to eat extra calories otherwise.”
Write down everything you eat. “It’s very helpful to realize where you are. Are you eating too many calories? Enough carbs? Protein? The journal will help you create balance and correct any imbalances.”
Be accountable 24 hours a day. “If I wanted to eat cookies at 2 A.M., I went onto a weight-loss message board, and women there would convince me not to. It really works.”
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