Inspired By a Friend’s Weight Control
Seeing a friend gain weight control inspired Stephany Farrell to transform her own body shape and life.
Name Stephany Farrell
Job Machine operator
Weight Before 191
Weight After 135
A born couch potato, Stephany Farrell had been hefty since puberty. Getting pregnant in 2000 accelerated her gain. “I dealt with the stress of college and pregnancy by drowning myself in food,” she says. After her daughter was born, Farrell paid even less attention to eating well, seeking comfort in butter-fried pork steaks, pizza, and ice cream. “I could polish off half a gallon in one sitting,” she says. By 2005, the scale had hit 191 pounds.
The Breaking Point
Farrell’s weight had always bothered her, but now it was a physical obstacle. “At my heaviest, it was a pain to bend over and tie my shoe,” she says. When a good friend lost 90 pounds, Farrell got inspired. “I decided to give healthy eating and exercise a try. What could I lose–besides weight?”
Farrell bought a journal and wrote down everything that went into her mouth. The first day, she filled a whole page. “I realized, ‘Wow, I eat a whole lot of food.’ And I started asking myself, ‘Do I really need that?'” After cutting back on snacks and portion sizes, Farrell started making smart subs: nonfat cooking spray for butter, fruit instead of Little Debbie snack cakes. She began eating breakfast and stopped snacking after 8 p.m. With three weeks of better eating under her belt and down five pounds, Farrell was ready to sweat. Using a Tae Bo DVD in her living room, she worked her way up to 45-minute sessions four or five times a week and gradually lost 30 pounds. Suddenly, the size-14 outfits she’d been hoping to fit into “someday” were too big. “When I realized that I was capable of losing the weight, it was a natural high,” Farrell says. She added ab workouts, an occasional cardio class, and free weights–and shed another 20 or so pounds. By the fall of 2006, she started counting calories to shake several more pounds and is currently at her size-6 goal.
When a coworker recognized Farrell only by her parking space, she knew she’d transformed herself. “When I was overweight, I felt like less of a person, like maybe people didn’t take me seriously,” she says. “Now I can say, ‘Look at me, at what I did.’ Believing in myself is the best reward.”
Brown-bag it. “I don’t carry change, so I can’t go to the vending machine, and I pack a healthy lunch and snacks so I’m not even tempted.”
Rise and dine. “Eat breakfast, even if you’re not hungry. It gets your metabolism going.”
Easy does it. “Start out by exercising every other day and work your way up.”