Valerie The Strategy: Going high-tech
The Payoff: Lost 55 pounds
For Valerie Harrington, 48, mealtime had become a vicious cycle of guilt and loathing. “I’d yo-yo dieted since my teens, and when I hit 35 it became much harder to lose weight,” says Valerie, who manages her husband’s law practice in Great Bend, Kansas. “In my early 40s, I gave up dieting altogether because nothing seemed to work.”
Three years ago, Valerie reached an all-time high of 185 pounds. “My energy was so low that I no longer enjoyed the things I loved—skiing, hiking, rafting,” she recalls. “Even everyday things like climbing into my car were getting difficult. So I decided to give losing weight one more try.”
But after struggling to budge the scale for six months with minimal results, Valerie realized that she needed support. It wasn’t easy to find in her rural town, so she turned to a virtual community: eDiets.com. There she discovered 26 different food plans, each with a nutritionist available for e-mail consultations, a dozen chat rooms, a weekly menu and grocery planning tool, recipes and much more.
Round-the-clock access to such great support was the key to Valerie’s success: She lost 55 pounds in six months. “I could go online anytime instead of waiting for a weekly meeting,” she says. “And I loved the immediacy. If I e-mailed a nutritionist, I’d usually get a response within 24 hours. If I hit a plateau and needed advice, I went to the women-over-40 chat room or one of the low-carb forums for new recipes and tips.”
Valerie has kept the weight off for more than two years now, and she’s so confident it won’t be coming back that she gave away thousands of dollars’ worth of “fat clothes.”
“I only keep size 2 and 4 in my closet now,” says Valerie. “It’s a great motivator!”
1. f one program doesn’t fit, try another. “It takes trial and error to find what works best for you.”
2. Make exercise easy. Valerie didn’t spend tons of money on a gym; everything she needed was in her house or right outside her door. Her no-hassle workout: walking and strength training with free weights and DVDs (her current fave is The Firm).
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