I Lost 213 Pounds: Brenda’s Amazing Weight Loss Transformation
Former weight: 373 pounds
Current weight: 160 pounds
Pounds lost: 213
Height: 5 feet 6 inches
How long she’s kept it off: One year. She started in June 2005 and met her goal in April 2009.
Personal life: “I am a registered pharmacist, practicing in the metro Atlanta area,” Smith said. “I reside in Lithia Springs with my black-and-white tuxedo cat, Smokey Joe.”
Turning point: “It took me two years to lose 16 pounds,” Smith said. “In October 2007, however, I was introduced to a 12-step program for food addiction. … Within the first year, I lost 180 pounds. I did not realize this program would change my life.” Smith believes it’s important to publicly acknowledge her 12-step success. “We take the focus off of food so you can really deal with the problems of food. … I’m [now] eating to live, not living to eat.”
Diet plan: “I follow the 12-step program for food addiction. I eat three weighed and measured meals daily.” She does not eat white flour or sugar.
Exercise routine: “I do cardio workouts four to five times a week. I supplement my cardio with two one-hour sessions with my personal trainer every week to target specific areas for toning.” At first, she was intimidated to go to a gym, with the possibility of being the biggest person there, but at Gold’s Gym she found a trainer and “a family away from home,” she said.
Biggest challenge: “Losing the weight has proven to be much less of a challenge than keeping it off for me,” she said. “Now that [the weight] is gone, I have to deal with the feelings that caused me to gain the weight in the first place. Food is not something that goes away; every day I am forced to confront the object of an addiction. … I am [now] dealing with life as it happens.”
How life has changed: “I am living a life more fulfilling than anything that I used to imagine. I am more mobile. I’m hiking, biking and running all over the place,” she said. “Before losing weight, I always woke up dreading life. My body ached. … No amount of money could give me this life, and I wouldn’t trade what I am experiencing now for anything in the world.”
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