Weight Loss Stories

The Weight Rolled Right Off

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Read her success story! Before and after fitness success motivation from women who hit their weight loss goals and got THAT BODY with training and meal prep. Learn their workout tips get inspiration! | TheWeighWeWere.comBarbara Dolan started skating and found new energy–and a flatter belly!


I’d always been slender, and regular dance classes as a young adult helped me stay that way. But in 1999, after a yearlong struggle to get pregnant, the weight piled on right up until I gave birth to my first son. Although the majority of the 40 pounds I gained during pregnancy was healthy, about 13 were over the line–and I never lost them. During my second pregnancy 3 years later, I gained 40 again–and kept 20. But as an exhausted mother of two, I simply accepted my 175-pound frame. I was fat; that was that.

My Call to Action

One day at the playground, I looked around at the other moms and realized that in trying to nurture our families, we’d treated our own bodies with enormous disregard. All around me, I saw cushy bellies, “muffin tops,” and back fat. That can’t be me, I thought. And yet it was. Then and there, I decided it was time to change. I didn’t want to have to wear “mom jeans”–I wanted to feel sexy again.

Learning How to Get Healthy

I tried Weight Watchers for 3 months, but I found the weigh-ins humiliating, so I switched to the online program. It was just what I needed: Logging in everything I ate made me think of calories in real-world terms. If I had the grilled-cheese crust from my son’s plate, I’d forgo wine with dinner to stay within my daily Points range. To supplement my online motivation, I asked my husband to take a monthly snapshot of me in a bikini. In each subsequent photo, I looked better than before–and that kept me going! It took 5 months, but I finally met my goal: 142 pounds.

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Setting New and Improved Goals

Filled with pride, I had a photographer friend take my portrait. But when I saw the image, I realized I had much more to accomplish. Sure I was smaller, but I was soft all over. The back fat was still there! So I signed up for Pilates–and got results within a couple of weeks. My back was stronger and my stomach was toned, but 6 months later, I was no longer enjoying the class. That’s when I heard about the Windy City Rollers,Chicago’s first all-girl, flat-track roller derby league. I immediately joined.

The three-times-a-week practices were brutal. We skated, jogged, did calisthenics, and strength-trained–rain or shine. When I started, I’d be wiped after a 20-yard sprint, but soon, I was outskating opposing team members. What a core workout! It took about 6 weeks to notice my tighter tummy, butt, and legs, but the excitement kept me going.

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I dropped from a size 16 to a 6 and lost an additional 7 pounds. Last May, after about 2 years of derby, I hung up my skates. (I began to worry about injury.) But the resolve I got from the sport stays with me. Without it, I wouldn’t have had the guts to take on my next challenge: running for public office this spring.

Barbara’s Vital Stats

Barbara Dolan, 43 Location:Oak Park,ILHeight: 5’9″ Starting weight: 175 Current weight: 135 Pounds lost: 40 My idea of success: Standing nude in front of the mirror and realizing how far I’ve come! My unexpected gain: Confidence to try new things

Strategies Worth Sharing

Keep a photo journal: Take frequent pictures of yourself in something revealing, such as a bikini, to show you that your hard work is paying off.

Have crudités on hand: Party platters, available in most supermarkets, make it easy to snack on fresh veggies.

Make exercise fun: Find a workout that you truly enjoy; you’ll be more likely to stick with it.

Source: Prevention

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