Sunny days, mountain biking, and a little group support all helped Lisa Barnard reach her ideal weight
Name Lisa Barnard
Job Owner of an ad and design business
Weight before 230
Weight after 140
The Gain: As a teen growing up in differentU.S.cities (her father was in the military), Lisa Barnard kept fit by playing volleyball and basketball. But when she started college inOregon, the gloomy weather — plus homesickness — squashed her desire to exercise. Between her lack of activity and a steady diet of pizza and beer, Barnard’s weight ballooned to 230 pounds.
The Change: After graduating in 1991, Barnard moved toArizona. The warm climate gave her a sunnier outlook on exercise. A few years later, when a friend suggested joining Weight Watchers together, Barnard jumped at the chance.
The Life: The plan taught Barnard about nutrition and portion control. She began eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and drinking water instead of soda. She also decided to stop dining out until she was completely comfortable making good food choices. By the next year, Barnard had dropped 75 pounds. She remained a few pounds shy of her goal weight until 2000, when she decided to join Team Luna Chix, a women’s mountain biking team sponsored by Luna Bar. The vigorous exercise helped her shed those last pounds and keep them off.
The Reward: Barnard practices yoga, goes trail running, or trains on her bike for 2 hours a day, competing at the amateur level. But her biggest reward has been inspiring others by teaching cycling clinics and working with an after-school running program for young girls: “I love having the opportunity to uplift people through sports.”
Surround yourself with positive people. “They encourage you to believe in yourself and help you stay focused, committed, and disciplined — especially in the beginning.”
Be prepared for snack attacks. “I work from home, so I don’t keep sweets around — I’d be eating them all day. I stock my fridge with chopped veggies, like broccoli and cauliflower, so I always have a healthy snack handy.”
Set realistic workout goals. “Don’t vow to exercise for 4 hours a week if that’s not realistic — you’ll only be disappointed in yourself later. Figure out what works for you and make sure it’s something you can commit to for life.”