“I’ve Never Had So Much Energy”
Priscilla Bartlett began eating right and exercising for the sheer joy of it. Her health bonus: She’s now a size 6.
POUNDS LOST: 85
WEIGHT NOW: 124 POUNDS
WEIGHT THEN: 209
When I was growing up, the family dinner was meat and potatoes. Though I was never an athletic girl, I was active, and that, combined with my youthful metabolism, kept my weight in check at 120 pounds–until I grew up and got married.
My husband, George, and I continued to eat heavy, high-fat dinners–including take-out fried chicken and pizza accompanied by lots of beer! After 15 years, George had put on 20 pounds, but I’d gained 85.
FROM VEGGING OUT TO EATING VEGGIES
Worried about my health, George suggested going on a diet together. We decided to replace breakfast and lunch with high-protein shakes. Along with controlling calories, it gave me the structure I needed after years of mindlessly snacking all day on junk. To supplement the shakes, we ate veggie-packed snacks and a sensible dinner.
Still, I knew dieting alone wasn’t enough, so I started walking a mile every day. After 3 months, I was covering 3 to 4 miles at a time–and looking for a new challenge. Then one day my husband, who’d cycled since before we got married, surprised me with a new bike.
We soon started riding 15 to 18 miles every weekend and eventually began doing charity rides. The most challenging one was 50 miles. The last 8 miles included lots of hills, which have never been my strong suit. But I found my comfort zone and made it to the finish line.
When I started biking, I’d already lost 59 pounds. After we started cycling regularly, the last 26 pounds flew off! Along the way, I transitioned from meal-replacement shakes to healthy, balanced meals, which helped fuel my exercise.
CRUISING INTO A FIT FUTURE
Today I ride every weekend and 2 or 3 times a week. I’m so much happier: I’ve dropped from size XXL shirts to small/ medium. More important, I have lots more energy. I’m no longer ashamed of the way I look, and my husband can’t keep his hands off me! He’s proud of me, and I’m proud of him for supporting me in such a loving way. I could not have done it without him.
MY TOP TIPS
* Exercise for joy, not just weight loss.
* Cycling was an epiphany for me. It gets me outdoors, clears my head, and helps maintain my weight. To stay on track, I also get on the scale every morning.
* Be a sounding board. Coworkers often come to me with their frustrations about losing weight. I never judge anyone because I’ve been there; I want only the best for them. It also reminds me that wow–I actually did this!
* Make room for foods you love. When I started dieting, I incorporated chocolate–my weakness–into my new plan.
* Have a backup routine. When the weather’s bad, I hook up my bike to a stationary indoor bike trainer so I can still get my workout.
* Retrain your tastebuds. It took a while, but now I look forward to healthy foods such as salad, steamed broccoli, and grilled fish or chicken.
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