Talking with people who have made drastic changes in their lives for the better is one of the most inspiring and humbling experiences I’ve encountered. Recognizing how difficult it is to lose 5, 10 and even 20 pounds myself, I sympathize with those who struggle with their weight. But after speaking with individuals who have lost more than 100 pounds in some cases, I am often left speechless.
In 2012 we shared the true weight loss stories of more than 20 remarkable individuals from around the world, and their combined total weight loss was 2,466 pounds! This an accomplishment we were truly humbled to be a part of. Though each person shares a uniquely inspiring story, we’ve gathered six of our favorites to give a glimpse into the truly amazing transformations we’ve witnessed on Diets in Review this year. Let’s start with the first true weight loss story I had the privilege of writing: Grace Goodman.
On and off diets since she was 5 years old, Grace Goodman had reached her low point when she weighed 290 pounds at the age of 22. It wasn’t until she joined Weight Watchers and committed to a fitness plan that she started shedding weight fast and even completed her first 5K and half marathon. Now, almost three years later, Grace is down more than 115 pounds and still going strong.
Our favorite quote from Grace reads: “Losing this much weight has taught me that I can do whatever I want. If I want something, I go out and get it. I wouldn’t change the way my life was set up for anything.” Read Grace’s entire weight loss story.
Years of poor eating habits led Ph.D. student John Burton to his peak weight of 420 pounds. After moving to Belfast, Ireland to pursue his degree, John made some serious changes in his health, including bi-monthly meetings with a nurse and joining the online health community Reddit Loseit. More than three years later, John is down more than 260 pounds and thoroughly enjoys playing sports and traveling often at a healthy weight of 160 pounds.
One of our favorite quotes from John reads: “One of the biggest things that helped me was going to the Reddit website. I was getting a lot of support and feedback from people, and it’s really a fantastic system. I couldn’t have done it without their help.” Read John’s entire weight loss story.
Zach Bohannon had been overweight his whole life and his health continued to decline once he got married. But after deciding to make health his number one priority, Zach completely made over his diet and began frequenting the gym. It didn’t take long before he was down 100 pounds and today he’s still going strong, motivating others (including his wife who crossed in to “ONEderland” this week!) along the way.
Our favorite quote from Zach reads: “When I looked back I was doing all this stuff in the gym but I was still eating so bad. So when I sat down and looked at it, I realized I was putting 100% into 50% of the solution.” Read Zach’s entire weight loss story.
John Drury of Cininatti, Ohio was one of our most impressive success stories yet. At 42, John had reached his peak weight of nearly 400 pounds after becoming a truck driver. But after joining a local Biggest Loser weight loss contest John gained a healthier view of food and exercise, as well as an unlikely love for Zumba. Today John is down more than 100 pounds and a certified Zumba instructor. He even owns his own dance studio – Big John’s Dance Fitness.
Our favorite quote from John reads: “Find something that you love to do and push yourself – get out of your comfort zone. Exercise isn’t supposed to be comfortable.” Read John’s entire weight loss story.
When Paul Bucich landed a desk job he fell into a string of bad habits that included watching late night TV and drinking too much alcohol. This type of lifestyle led Paul to weigh nearly 210 pounds in 2009, which also required him to be on high blood pressure medication. But after participating in a family weight loss competition Paul lost 30 pounds, quit smoking and even got off of his medication. These days Paul weighs a slim 152 pounds, is an Ironman finisher, and strives daily to be a healthy role model for his wife and kids.
Our favorite quite from Paul reads: “I had no idea I was an athlete. But there is an athlete in everybody, you just have to find the right sport.” Read Paul’s entire weight loss story.
After wrestling with her weight most of her life, Betsy Schow hit rock bottom and decided to trade all of the quick fix schemes for lasting change. With a simple yet profound mindset shift, Betsy lost 75 pounds, finished a marathon, climbed a mountain and became a published author all in one year.
Our favorite quote from Betsy reads: “You can look at why you’ve failed in the past but then let it go.” Read Betsy’s entire weight loss story.
In addition to celebrating our weight loss success stories of 2012, we also look forward to sharing the journeys of more transformed lives in the new year. So with that in mind, here’s to even more weight lost in 2013!