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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

 



Victoria Beckham Follows the Five Hands Diet to Help Shed Baby Weight

Everyone may follow Hollywood for the latest diet trends, but we’re pretty sure Hollywood follows Victoria Beckham. The former Spice Girl has seemingly tried every diet out there to keep her super-slim frame, and reports of her starting a new diet have only increased since the birth of her daughter in 2011.

victoria beckham

After doing Yogalosophy, following the Alkaline Diet, taking sun chlorella supplements, adding seaweed to her diet and going gluten free, we have to wonder what else Beckham can try. Apparently plenty, as Beckham is reportedly now a follower of the Five Hands Diet.


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Conscious Cleanse: A Review of the Cleanse That Changed My Mind

Typically we publish a workout-centered post on Saturdays – you know the drill. But today I was given the freedom to talk on something else. I’ve chosen something relevant to me right now in my “journey to health,” which is a cleanse I’m currently enduring.

healthy-eating

Before you roll your eyes, lock up your kids and call me a fanatic, hear me out. Prior to this cleanse I was entirely adverse to anything with the word ‘cleanse’ in it, and have always viewed anything with the label an unsafe fad or trick to help you fit into your skinny jeans or “finally break the bondage of that grilled cheese addiction.”

This cleanse, however, is different. It’s been more of a learning process than a diet, and it’s allowed me to change the way I view food and how it nourishes me. It’s also helped me realize how I’d unknowingly grown so unaware of how food and the body work together to achieve optimum health.
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3 Ways Yoga Supports a Healthy Lifestyle

Nearly everyone has aspirations to be healthy. Following diets and new and improved workout plans are popular behaviors at the beginning of each New Year, as many will vow to eat better and get more exercise.

A few months of eating fresh, high quality cuisine and hitting the gym makes a big difference in the way we feel. A slimmer waistline, clearer skin, and an overall feeling of health is worth it, so why is it so hard to stay the course?

Your lifestyle plays a huge role in whether or not your good intentions are going to stick. If you think your lifestyle might not be supporting your desire to be healthy, keep reading.
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Dr. Oz Promotes ‘Fat-urday’ Cheat Day for Weight Loss

Does the thought of cheating on your diet get you excited? It does me. I eat clean Monday through Friday and once the weekend rolls around, visions of hamburgers and chocolate bars start swirling my mind. And because I believe in balance I don’t consider indulging ‘cheating,’ but rather allowing myself an occasional treat as a ‘reward’ in a sense. In fact, I eat ice cream and pizza just about every Sunday and I don’t feel bad about it since it’s a rare occurrence.

Apparently, having a ‘cheat day’ is quite a popular topic as Dr. Oz is dedicating an entire show to the idea. He’s calling it ‘Fat-urday,’ saying we should eat whatever we want one day of the week because it will lead to more weight loss.

This means if you eat healthy the six days of the week, Dr. Oz is giving you a license to eat whatever you want on Saturday be it donuts, milkshakes or an entire plate of french fries. Or all three!
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