I’m always looking for ways to motivate my personal training clients and the readers of this blog to lose weight. Sometimes it helps to see and read about other people’s weight loss success stories. I searched the Internet looking for before and after pictures along with some motivational stories about how people had transformed themselves and lost a lot of weight.
1- I found this story in Women’s Health magazine about Kristen Collins. She lost over 50 lbs. and here is her story right out of Women’s Health:
Before: 180 lbs
After: 130 lbs
As a teen growing up in Silver Spring, Maryland, Kristen Collins Eccleston regularly dined on greasy fast food with her friends. After college she met her now husband, Bryan, and got into the habit of splitting extra-large pizzas with him and ordering buffalo wings for Sunday-night football. Their junk-food feasts caused Kristen to tip the scale at 180 pounds. When Bryan proposed in 2009, it was a wake-up call for the 25-year-old special-ed teacher, who vowed to shed weight from her 5’6″ frame before getting hitched.
While shopping for size-16 wedding gowns in February 2010, Kristen’s mom sensed her daughter’s misery. She sent Kristen an encouraging note, pledging her support and offering to buy her a new smaller-size outfit for the rehearsal dinner. “My mom wanted to see me happy, so she motivated me to do something about my weight,” says Kristen. “She told me to do it as a wedding gift to myself.”
Kristen trimmed her portions and added fat burning foods like lean protein, veggies, and fiber-rich whole grains to her meals. Bryan joined her for daily after-dinner walks, and by May 2010, one month into her shape-up, Kristen’s clothes felt looser. Then Bryan suggested jogging their usual one-mile route, and for added incentive they signed up for a 5-K. Kristen increased her evening runs by half-mile increments, and she finished her first race bursting with pride. She immediately signed up for another and ran one or two a month until her November nuptials. A month before the big day, she was fitting into size-6 clothes.
Before her slim-down, Kristen avoided cameras. But she enjoyed posing for her wedding photos and even rocked a two-piece swimsuit on her honeymoon, sans cover-up. “Now I want everyone to see me,” she says. “I have the confidence I’d always wanted.”
“Trying to keep up with my fiance pushed me and kept me from skipping workouts. I didn’t want him to outdo me.”
“Vow to stick with a new routine for just two weeks. After that it becomes a habit you don’t even think about.”
“Diets never worked for me because I felt deprived. I had to learn to eat mostly whole foods in moderation.”
2- Shape magazine had a women named Heidi who lost over 50 pounds at age 42. Here is Heidi’s story taken from Shape magazine:
Heidi had always been “heavy but not huge”—until she got pregnant. “After my son was born, I went on a high-protein diet,” she says. “But because I was still eating fried chicken and mozzarella sticks, I couldn’t get the scale to budge below 178 pounds.”
Diet tip: Seizing the moment
Shortly after turning 40, Heidi—a longtime yoga fan—decided to become a yoga instructor. During the training program, her teacher asked the class to commit to making one healthy change for the next 40 days. “I had been thinking since my birthday that I could go my whole life not knowing what it feels like to be proud of my body,” she says. “The challenge—along with the fact that I’d just seen a flyer for a new boot camp class that promised to transform your body in weeks—was just what I needed to finally achieve weight loss success.”
Diet tip: Basic training
Heidi signed up for the boot camp and was soon hitting the gym at 5 a.m. three days a week. “My idea of cardio was reading a magazine while I did the elliptical for a few minutes,” she says. “But the trainer had us doing push-ups, pulling weighted sleds around, and even flipping tires over for a whole hour!” Although she planned on quitting after the 40 days were up, Heidi was so encouraged by her weight loss success—she was down 10 pounds by the end—that she signed up for another session. This time around, she also tackled her diet. “I’d always thought I was being virtuous by skipping breakfast and refusing to snack between meals,” she says. “When my boot camp instructor suggested eating five times a day, I thought she was crazy. It seemed like so much food! But my way wasn’t working, so I decided to give hers a try.” Heidi’s mini meals (like cut-up fresh veggies with whole-grain crackers and cheese) kept her from feeling deprived—and helped her get down to 128 pounds a year and a half later.
Diet tip: Ripple effect
A svelte new shape wasn’t the only payoff for Heidi’s hard work: She also gained the confidence to open her own yoga studio. “Becoming healthy has opened so many doors for me,” she says. “Don’t get me wrong—I love the way I look now, and the fact that my body’s strong enough to crank out 100 push-ups. But the best part of this whole process has been inspiring my students to make positive changes in their own lives.”
Heidi’s stick-with-it secrets
1. Map out meals
“Every Sunday I write down what I’m going to eat in my food journal. It makes grocery shopping easier and lets me pencil in ‘cheats,’ like a piece of cake when I know I’ll be attending a birthday party.”
2. Nip burnout in the bud
“I add something new to my workout routine—like in-line skating or burpees—every few weeks to keep myself from falling into a rut.”
3. Trick your taste buds
“Believe it or not, nonfat plain Greek yogurt drizzled with agave nectar can be just as satisfying as a scoop of full-fat ice cream.”
I hope these two weight loss success stories help motivate you to lose weight. If you are ready to start a weight loss program and need some help, I recommend Eat Stop Eating. It is one of the most successful and easy diet programs to follow. The program is based on intermittent fasting which has helped me and a number of my personal training clients lose the weight and keep it off. Give it a try; I’m sure it will work for you.
If you enjoyed this post, then make sure you subscribe to my e-mail list.
Best – Mike Cola