Weight Loss Success Story: Cindy’s challenge
Cindy was always the “heavy” one. “In middle school, my Tae Kwon Do instructor suggested I go on a diet,” she says. “And I was one of the few dance team girls who wore an extra-large leotard.” By the time she graduated from college, she’d hit 185 pounds.
Diet tip: The breaking point
Cindy had avoided getting on the scale for years—but she couldn’t ignore it when her size 14 pants became too snug. “The button on one pair in particular kept popping off,” she says. “As I was pulling out the needle and thread to sew it back on for the umpteenth time, I got fed up and realized I had two choices: Buy bigger pants or lose weight. I wasn’t ready to shop for a size 16, but I was willing to try to change my unhealthy habits.”
Diet tip: A foolproof recipe
That day Cindy started writing down everything she put in her mouth. “At the end of the week, I tallied up my entries and discovered I was way over 2,000 calories a day,” she says. “Since I was eating out at least five nights a week, making my own meals seemed like an obvious way to cut back.” So Cindy broke out a long-neglected Rachael Ray cookbook and started making weekly treks to the grocery store for ingredients. “I didn’t nix any foods, but I did measure out everything I ate to make sure I wasn’t having more than a single serving.” Soon Cindy was dropping a little over a pound a week. “After seeing how my healthy eating efforts paid off, I wanted to ramp up my exercise routine too,” she says. “I bought a pedometer and tried to log five miles, or 10,000 steps, each day—which sometimes meant stepping in place in front of the TV before going to bed!” Cindy also hit the gym in the basement of her building three times a week, starting with a few minutes on the elliptical, then working her way up to a half hour on the treadmill. The weight kept coming off, and a year and a half later, Cindy became her own weight loss success story—she was down to a trim 135 pounds.
Diet tip: Fit and healthy
Seven months after Cindy reached her weight loss goal, her father, an emergency room doctor, had a heart attack and passed away. “We both knew heart disease runs in our family, but I think he was in denial and figured he’d start exercising and eating right eventually,” she says. “Since my dad died, I’m all about being proactive. I slimmed down to feel better about the way I look, but I’m keeping the weight off so I can live a long and healthy life.”
Cindy’s stick-with-it secrets
•Outsmart candy cravings “I realized that when I have sugar in the morning, I crave it all day. Now I satisfy my sweet tooth after dinner—usually with dark chocolate.”
•Get fit with your pooch “When the weather’s nice, I take my dog on an hour-long walk instead of going to the gym. He loves the extra exercise and attention—and I love taking my routine outdoors.”
•Break down big goals “I started following the hundredpushups.com program to build my upper-body strength. By doing a few push-ups a day, you can get up to 100 in six weeks. I can already do 50!”