Tag Archives: true weight loss stories

Josh Steele Lost 305 Pounds and Became a Personal Trainer to Change More Than His Own Life

josh-steele-305-pound-weight-loss

By Shae Blevins for DietsInReview.com

Since we first featured Josh Steele’s 250-pound true weight loss story, he has continued to make tremendous strides forward. Josh has lost another 55 pounds, had skin removal surgery, and even became a personal trainer. It’s the kind of story that deserves being told once… twice… as many times as we can!

“Losing more than 300 pounds is crazy!” he told DietsInReview.com.

“I went from [being] the unhappy, depressed, lonely person to someone full of energy and hope for the future,” he said. “Some days I am just blown away by how far I came in just two and half years.”

That’s right! Less than three years and more than 300 pounds later, Josh is a new man! (more…)

Jennifer Espinosa-Goswami Lost 100 Pounds In One Year By Counting Calories and Making Peace with Veggies

Jennifer Espinosa-Goswami is a weight loss cheerleader who admits that vegetables still aren’t her favorite menu item. After losing 100 pounds in one year, Jennifer is motivating others on her website, Weightless Chronicles.

My goal is to coach other working moms like myself who are tired of yo-yo dieting. Weight loss is not a one-time event. It is a marathon that takes training and a certain strategy. ~Jennifer 

jennifer espinosa-goswami

More from Jennifer in her own words –

Tell me when your weight struggles began. I don’t remember ever being thin. I never felt like I struggled with my weight, but I was embarrassed by it.

What habits specifically led you to gain weight? I ate so much, and almost always to please my taste buds. I loved everything about food, from shopping for groceries with my mom, to cooking, to enjoying it with my family. I also hated vegetables with a passion. Once I turned 18, I vowed never to eat anything green (except ice cream). Two years later, I reached my highest weight.

What caused you to realize you needed to change? My grandmother passed away. She was the last of my grandparents, all of whom played a big role in my early childhood. Grandma Espinosa was an active and passionate woman who was there for every major event in our family. I realized that I might never see my own grandchildren.

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Justin Wiseman’s 420 Pound Weight Loss Story – “Rosie O’Donnell was My Beacon of Hope.”

justin wiseman rosie o donnell

Just when I thought my life was over, I found a whole new beginning, maybe your ending is really a brand new start.  ~ Justin

Recently Justin Wiseman joined the ladies on The View where he finally got to hug Rosie O’Donnell. After exchanging messages on Twitter about their mutual weight loss struggles, the two bonded. Justin credits Rosie with inspiring him to lose weight. Now he’s paying it forward by tackling the childhood obesity epidemic.

More from Justin and his amazing 420 pound weight story in his own words –

Tell me when your weight struggles began. My struggles began well before I was consciously aware of what I was doing. By the age of five I weighed 100 pounds.

What habits specifically led you to gain weight? I was a food addict pure and simple. Food was my whole world. Every time I ate, I ate to the point of being Thanksgiving-stuffed. That feeling was my high, my pure bliss.

justin wiseman before after

What caused you to realize you needed to change? I had a gut feeling I was going to die soon, which was confirmed by a doctor. I had uncontrolled type 2 diabetes, my sugar was running in the 500s every day. It was so high that sugar was crystallizing on my skin. I had non-obstructive sleep apnea, the weight on my chest was causing me to stop breathing over 200 times a night and my oxygen was dropping below 60. I had high blood pressure, triglycerides, cholesterol, and was even suffering from cirrhosis of the liver. The cirrhosis was causing me to retain massive amounts of fluid.

How did you lose the weight? I looked into weight loss surgery, but at first I was too unhealthy to qualify. I started slowly by making healthier choices and following a lower carb diet. I ate a KFC grilled chicken almost every day. Over 6 months I lost 130 pounds. Following that initial weight loss, I had gastric sleeve surgery to reduce the size of my football-sized stomach. After that I followed the Atkins Diet.

What diet and exercise methods did you employ? At first I couldn’t do much. I could barely get up and down. The very first exercise I did was to dance in my living while Ellen was dancing on her talk show. Slowly I was able to do more.

Did you have any “ah ha” moments along the way? Yes, the first of many was when I started planning my own funeral because I didn’t think I could do lose the weight. The are so many people around the world who are given a death sentence and would do anything to live, but here I was willing dying. How selfish. I also realized how much life I had missed out on and how much I wanted one day of complete freedom before I died.

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Kelly Guy Lost 66 Pounds with Jenny Craig and Became an Award-Winning Food Blogger

On her award-winning blog, No Thanks to Cake, Kelly Guy shares tasty, easy-to-make recipes, offers advice on how to eat healthy while traveling and professes her love for the Gilmore Girls. After a 66-pound weight loss, Kelly has firsthand experience with the struggle to find a healthy balance with food. I’m her newest fan.

kelly guy collageMore from Kelly in her own words –

What habits specifically led you to gain weight? Emotional eating habits. I can remember coming home after school and eating cheese and crackers, chips, cookies, and anything else that was available. I consumed way too much fast food , ate larger than necessary portions and had no physical activity.

What caused you to realize you needed to change? I was overwhelmed by the idea of losing almost 100 lbs. A good friend had just scheduled gastric-bypass surgery. It terrified me that weight loss surgery was also becoming an option for me. A few days later I took pictures with a friend who was 6 months pregnant and I looked bigger than she did.

How did you lose the weight? I followed the Jenny Craig program for about 12 months, finding great success with the simplicity of the program. I told friends that I “took it like a prescription.” My meals were planned and I didn’t have a ton of decisions to make on a daily basis. The weight started rolling off.

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Julie Wilson Lost 100 Pounds and Now Helps Others at Retrofit Ministries

Julie Wilson lost and gained the same pounds for years. Finally, she decided to take a new approach. One night she made a quiet vow to her young daughter, asked for strength from God and then took baby steps toward her goal. After losing 100 pounds, now Julie is helping others.

Julie Wilson beforeafterMore from Julie in her own words –

What habits specifically led you to gain weight? I always ate very fast and my portions were out of control. I didn’t know how to eat “one” of anything. While I have always loved vegetables, they were few and far between. I remember coming home after middle school and eating a box of macaroni and cheese for a snack along with two hot dogs. Then, I would eat dinner.

I was an athlete in middle school and high school, playing basketball, soccer, and throwing shot put – so I justified my eating. In high school, I got a job at McDonald’s where I worked for 5 years and gained 80 lbs.

What caused you to realize you needed to change? On December 12, 2010, I looked at my newborn daughter and promised her I would be an example for her. I had to do this for good.

How did you lose the weight? I started by tracking my food on My Fitness Pal. As time went on, I realized I needed to change the types of food I was eating. I ate smaller portions, drank more water, and started exercising.

What diet and exercise methods did you employ? I started my journey differently than my previous attempts. I vowed to keep my faith in God and trust him for strength. I tracked my food, pushed the baby in the stroller, did Taebo videos at home, and found a love for running. After losing 80 pounds, I joined a gym.

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TaVona Boggs Lost 82 Pounds and Started a Social Fitness Group for Women

TaVona Boggs spent most of her adult life on a diet. When she wasn’t on one, she was thinking she probably should be. Finally, she learned how to make peace with food and gave up on what she calls the, “all or nothing” mentality. After an 82-pound weight loss, TaVona is competing in duathlons and inspiring other women to break out of their comfort zones.

TaVona collage

When did your weight struggles begin. As early as age 10, I remember begging my mom to buy me a thigh master. Throughout high school I kept my weight in check with physical activity, like cheer leading, volleyball and more, but once I entered an intensive physical therapy program in college, the weight crept back on.

What habits specifically led you to gain weight? I did not know how to eat properly. My solution was to eat what college kids ate and when the weight escalated, I would diet down to what I thought was an appropriate weight only to gain it back once I stopped dieting.

What prompted the change? I stepped on the scale one day and it said 224 pounds. At that point I had become so sick of dieting I couldn’t do it one more time so I said to myself, “I have to learn how to eat real food, and still enjoy myself.”

How did you lose the weight? With my mother’s encouragement, I decided to join a commercial weight loss program. With the support of the ladies in my group and my mentor, I was able to get to my goal of 155 pounds. After a while, counting points and managing my weight through exercise only got me so far. I oscillated, then got stuck and eventually saw the weight starting to come back on.

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Samantha Hillis Lost 80 Pounds – “Your body amazing. It can adapt to any lifestyle you choose.”

After her divorce, Samantha Hillis was suddenly thrown into the role of single mother. After taking control of her lifestyle, she lost an amazing 80 pounds. Samantha is proud to lead by example and she’s now enjoying activities with her young son that she never thought would be possible.

Samantha Hillis collage

More from Samantha in her own words –

Tell me when your weight struggles began. I have always been overweight. Growing up I was the only overweight person in my family. I had tried to lose weight many times with pills and meal replacements, but I didn’t change my diet so nothing seemed to work.

What habits specifically led you to gain weight? When I got pregnant I gained 80 pounds! I went from staying between 200 and 210 to 280. After having my son I lost about 50 pounds, but my diet still wasn’t on point. I ate fast food every day, and when I did cook at home we would eat fried foods or a ton of pasta. I would rather sit on the couch and watch the Food Network than go for a walk.

What caused you to realize you needed to change? Nothing ever fit right, and I was never able to share clothes with friends or my sisters. I hated going shopping because I didn’t want to believe that I was in a size 18/20. When I got divorced last year I went to the doctor. I almost cried when I saw the number 248 flashing on the scale in front of me. I had gained 15 pounds in ONE month. That’s when I knew I needed to get healthy for my son.

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Kimberly May-Puett Lost 57 Pounds and 30 Inches When She Adopted the Mantra, “If you change nothing, nothing changes.”

A few months ago Kimberly May-Puett contacted me. She had two goals for telling her own true weight loss story, to pay it forward and inspire others. For Kimberly, losing 57 pounds and 30 inches was a case of  mind over manner. She wants others to know that they can be successful too, as long as they’re willing to make real changes.

Kim May-Puett

More from Kimberly in her own words.

Tell me when your weight struggles began: At the age of 25 started traveling a lot for work, which threw off my diet and exercise routine. My weight really spiraled out of control once I became pregnant. With each baby I gained 50 – 60 pounds. I never lost all my pregnancy weight and it fluctuated for years.

What habits specifically led you to gain weight? A busy life, poor eating habits and lack of exercise. I simply did not take care of myself. My weight ballooned up to 253, which ironically was my highest pregnancy weight.

I knew in that moment I really needed to do things differently if I was going to be successful.

What caused you to realize you needed to change? I was approaching my 40th birthday. While generally happy with my life, I was miserable when I looked in the mirror. To make matters worse, blood tests from the doctor confirmed that my cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar were not in healthy ranges. At the height of my frustration, I read something that said, If you change nothing, nothing changes. I’m not sure why, but it hit me like a bolt of lightning.

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Michelle Moran Lost 213 Pounds and Her Binge Eating Habit, “I Only Trusted Myself to Buy Enough Groceries for One Day.”

It’s been three years since Michele Moran tipped the scales at almost 400 pounds. Overweight as a child, Michelle adopted a habit of binge eating that only got worse when she moved out on her own. Now, with a new healthy outlook on food and a weight loss of 213 pounds, Michelle is looking forward to a bright future – and maybe even a triathlon.

Michelle Moran collage

More from Michelle in her own words –

Tell me when your weight struggles began. I have been bigger since childhood. When I turned 13, I was wearing a size 13. I remember someone mentioning that I seemed to be going up a pant size every year. From that moment on I was consciously aware and insecure about my weight.

“When I lived at home I binged when people were asleep. When I moved out on my own it got even worse.”

What habits specifically led you to gain weight? Lack of exercise contributed, but the main issue was binge eating. My dinner might be an entire pizza, bag of chips and a box of Hamburger Helper. I felt sick and I was in pain, but I did it every single day.

What caused you to realize you needed to change? I couldn’t fit into the largest sizes at plus size stores. I could only wear tights or elastic waist pants or dresses. I couldn’t fit into seats at the movies, sporting events, roller coasters, or even just booths in restaurants.

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Ginnie Wade Lost 55 Pounds When She Stopped Looking for the Quick Fix

After years of looking for the weight loss “quick fix,” Ginnie Wade realized there was no shortcut, just hard work. Instead of joining an expensive gym or eating pricey organic food, her journey to a healthier life started with a ten dollar DVD. Now, 55 pounds lighter, Ginnie says she’s learned a lot and “really enjoyed the journey – mostly.”

ginnie wade

Tell me when your weight struggles began. I started to put on weight when I was working as a dog groomer in my early 20’s. I didn’t get much exercise and would go home exhausted and eat whatever I could find or stop and get fast food. Then I had my first child and gained about 60 pounds. I stayed home with her and found myself around food all day. When I was bored, I would eat.

I was able to lose most of the weight at a local gym, but not long after I got to my goal weight, I started putting the weight back on. I only changed temporary things and went right back to my old lifestyle.

What caused you to realize you needed to change? One day my sister and I went shopping for a dress and nothing fit. I couldn’t understand why. That day my sister gave me painful but needed advice, “You’re fat and you need to do something about it.” I had been hearing the same thing from my doctor. After hearing it from my sister I knew I finally needed to make some changes.

How did you lose the weight? I purchased a 9.99 fitness DVD at Walmart. Even though the DVD had been there collecting dust for a year, I brushed it off and popped it in the VCR. I started slow and did what I could, aiming for three days a week. I downloaded the MyFitnessPal app on my phone. That helped me stay on track eating real food.

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