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4 People Who Lost 480 Pounds! Our Fave 2013 True Weight Loss Stories

Happy New Year! Did you wake up this morning with a champagne hangover and the vague recollection of declaring that in 2014 you’ll get healthy and lose weight? If so, you’re not alone. Each year, weight loss is one of the most popular resolutions, and one of the hardest to stick with. At Diets In Review, we celebrate this dedication every Saturday with our True Weight Loss Story (TWLS) segment where we highlight the journey of men and women who have lost at least 50 pounds, safely, and without using fad diets.

True Weight Loss stories 2013

The True Weight Loss Story is inspiring to write and I genuinely root for these people who have fought illness, loss, heartbreak, injury and more, all to get healthy for themselves, and often their families. Once their story has posted I often wonder, “where are they now?” Recently, I tracked down four of our favorite TWLS participants of 2013 to find out.

Greta Funk -

greta collage resize

Greta Funk is our teeny mama of four who struggled with portion control and poor diet choices. After four pregnancies, the weight slowly crept on and didn’t budge. After seeing pictures of herself that she didn’t recognize, Greta tried commercial diet plans but eventually realized that she could have just as much success by using her MyFitness Pal app to gauge portions and make fruits and veggies a staple in her diet.

The picture below shows Greta when she hit her 500-mile run mark this year. Pure joy!

Greta way after

Today, Greta is maintaining her weight loss by running 3-5 times per week. She’s currently in training for the Disney half-marathon in 2014. “Last January, I made myself a goal to run 500 miles in 2013,” she said. “And by the end of December, I should be close to 650 miles this year.” Greta knows she has trouble maintaining portion sizes when she stops tracking but for now, all that running is off-setting any extra holiday nibbling. Total weight lost: 50 Pounds!

Eli Sapharti -

Eli Sapharti resize collage

Eli Sapharti was on a business trip when an airport cashier made an offhand remark that may have saved his life, “You know, you’re very good looking for a big guy.” Bullied as a child, Eli knew “big guy” was just a nice way of saying, “overweight.” By making small changes, the first being to eliminate soda and walk for just 15 minutes a day, he gradually lost pounds and inches. Instead of overwhelming himself with an overhauled diet and rigorous workout routine, Eli made changes he knew he could stick with.

The “big guy” is now a Muscle Club Finalist -

Eli Way After

Eli is a motivational speaker whose book, From Fat Boy to Fit Man, chronicles is journey and details the plan that helped him achieve success. So much success, in fact, that he recently made it to the top 3 spot (out of 330) in the Muscle Club Apparel spokes model search contest. Currently, he’s training for the Miami ING half-marathon.  ”I truly hope this inspires and motivates others to realize that anything is possible if we believe,” he said. “Persevere and consistently take one step at a time.” Total weight lost: 105 pounds!

Angela VanBuskirk - 

angela van buskirk

Angela VanBuskirk is our rockstar who lost 70 pounds, TWICE! After losing a significant amount of weight with the help of a personal trainer, doctors discovered an aggressive bone tumor that destroyed her femur and hip joint. Though the tumor was benign, the invasive surgery to insert pins and a titanium rod, coupled with a lengthy recovery period caused her to gain back 100 pounds. In 2011, she found out she was going to be a grandmother. Though Angela was in her early 40s, she felt tired knew she needed a life-change. “I wanted to be the cool active Grandma GiGi who takes her granddaughter to Disney World,” she said. “I wanted to watch her be a kid, and be one with her.”

Angela finishing her 20th 5K race of 2013 -

angela way after

After losing weight with the help of a commercial weight loss program and walk/running program, she is just shy of her goal to be in “one-derland” (weight in the 100s) by January 2014. This year, she competed in TWENTY 5K races, one half-marathon and one 10K. She’s currently in training to run the Nike Women’s Half-marathon in Washington DC in April with the Leukemia Lymphoma society team in training.  Her mother is in lymphoma remission. Her advice for holiday eating: “Love the special delights that only come around this time of the year,” she urged. ” What you don’t need are those crappy cookies that you can eat any time. Save indulgences for the magnificent things that are truly a delicious treat.” Total weight lost: 75 pounds!

Josh Steele - 

Josh Steele - Before and After

Josh Steele has one of the biggest weight loss stories we’ve ever featured. Although his 7-foot-tall frame allowed him to carry a few extra pounds, when he tipped the scales at 600 pounds, Josh knew he needed help. He wrote to the Biggest Loser on several occasions but was never chosen for the show. Eventually, Josh embraced his own inner Dolvett, Jillian and Bob, and decided he could be successful by following the old-school rule of weight loss, “eat less and move more.”  He started with the Chris Powell Carb Cycling Plan and then just got up and moved – and kept moving – until he had lost over 250 pounds.

josh way afterJosh today after weight loss and skin-reduction surgery -

Due to his significant weight loss, Josh recently had 11 pounds of skin removed from his chest and stomach. Recovering from surgery has put a temporary damper on his gym time but he continues to eat “clean,” and work out as doctors allow.  In a few weeks he’s scheduled to take his ACSM certified personal training exam. After that, he’ll be able to train at FIT Personal Training where he lives in Wabash. He’s excited for the opportunity to give back, saying, “Once certified I will be picking a pay it forward client to train free for 6 months.” Total weight lost: 250 pounds!

If you or someone you know has lost at least 50 pounds and would like to inspire others next year, please send a request to Dani Stone at danistone1@gmail.com for more information.

Also Read:

Jillian Michaels Overtakes Weight Watchers on 2013 Most Popular Diets of the Year

7 Years Younger in 7 Weeks. That’s the Good Housekeeping Promise for the New Year

Our Top Food Trend Predictions for 2014

 



HealthBuzz August 31: 30 Minutes of Exercise Better Than 1 Hour, Tracy Anderson Attacked in Media, and Breakfast Recipes for Labor Day Weekend

The best part about this weekend is the fact that Labor Day is Monday and many Americans will enjoy their day off observing the holiday. But before the weekend can officially commence, it’s time to wrap up the week with some healthy news. This week’s HealthBuzz includes several stories, including why you should consider ditching soda, how exercising for 30 minutes is better for weight loss than one hour, and breakfast recipes for a healthy four-day weekend.

30 Minutes of Exercise May Yield More Weight Loss Than 1 Hour

Researchers from the University of Copenhagen followed 60 overweight Danish men for 13 weeks. One-third of the group performed 30 minutes of intense aerobic exercise, another one-third of the group exercised for 60 minutes, and the last group was ordered to remain inactive. The study found that 30 minutes of physical activity helps produce more weight loss than one hour.

How Much Sleep Do You Really Need? New Research Points to a Magic Number

It seems people are never getting enough sleep in today’s fast pace society. According to a new study, eight hours of sleep isn’t the magic number for sleep anymore. Find out what the new magic number is!

Celebrity Trainer Tracy Anderson Attacked in Media

Tracy Anderson is known for providing her fitness and diet expertise to stars like Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Lopez and Gwyneth Paltrow. This week, she came under fire for some statement she made in DuJour Magazine regarding woman and their post-baby bodies. Tracy appeared on Good Morning America to defend her comments. What was her controversial quote?
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Sign Up Now for September 2011 Marathons

September is one of the best months to schedule a marathon because of its decent yet cooler weather and the hustle and bustle of summer begins to finally wind down. Check below to find a marathon location near you. Good luck and train hard!

September 2011 Marathons:


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February Marathons to Keep You on Track During the Holidays

Why should you schedule a marathon in the month of February? I’ll give you a couple of reasons: 1. It gives you something to train for, 2. It gives you something to look forward to, and 3. It helps you stay on track and focused during the craziness of the holidays.

Check out the top marathons in February below!

  • Critz Tybee Marathon: This marathon is the first one scheduled in the month of February and what a great way to begin the month. It is held in Tybee Island, Georgia on February 5, 2011.
  • Surf City Marathon: The Surfcity Marathon is held in Huntington Beach, California on Sunday February 6, 2011. Huntington Beach is one of my favorite beaches in California and it is a perfect spot for a marathon. There’s nothing better than running by the ocean- so come out and run or come out just to enjoy the scenery.
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Sign Up Now for November Marathons of 2010

November is here, and while most people think of the eleventh month as the beginning of holiday feasts and relaxation, it is also the perfect month for achieving our fitness goals. If you are a marathon veteran, or looking test the waters with a shorter distance, there is a race just for you. Act fast: if you haven’t signed up for one yet this year, now’s the time! Below is a list of the top marathons, half marathons, 10K, and 5K races around the country. Good luck and have fun!

Top Races Around The Country:

  • Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Marathon and Half Marathon: This amazing charity (breast cancer) race is held in San Antonio, Texas on November 14, 2010 and is going to be a crazy day. For more information on the race and for registration, visit: san-antonio.competitor.com.
  • Wine Vine Run: This half marathon and 5K run is held in Paso Robles, California on November 14, 2010. The race is scheduled to begin at 8:00 A.M. and should be good time along with beautiful California scenery; please visit: www.winevinerun.com for more information.
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