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Joseph Vindiola’s 241 Pound Weight Loss Started with Atkins

Joseph Vindiola’s story is one that many of our readers can relate to. He had been overweight most of his life and still remembers the bullying and ridicule that eventually led him to drop out of school. Even though friends, family and even his doctor expressed concerned about his health and asked him to lose weight, he wasn’t ready. He knew he wouldn’t be successful until he made the decision to get healthy for himself. The day he woke up and said, “This is enough,” he started his journey with the Atkins diet.

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Joseph reveals more about his journey in today’s true weight loss story -

What habits specifically led you to gain weight? As a kid I was sick a lot and wasn’t allowed to do any physical activities. I come from a family that likes to indulge in food. As I got older, I stuck to what I knew best. That meant no exercise and I ate what I wanted.

How did you lose the weight? I started the Atkins diet and followed the plan strictly during my first year of weight loss. I stayed under twenty carbohydrates a day. It was very hard for me to adjust my lifestyle, but I pushed through. I’ve also made other changes including not drinking soda. I still continue the Atkins lifestyle on the maintenance stage. It has changed my life.


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Gabi Rose Lost an Incredible 168 Pounds After a Scary Asthma Attack

While gasping for air I told my 4 young children that mommy was going to sleep and daddy was on the way.

3 pic gabiThe day Gabi Rose uttered those words to her children, she was pulled over on the side of the road, gasping for breath during a serious asthma attack. It was a moment that stayed with her long after she regained consciousness. Admitting her weight was causing serious medical setbacks forced her out of the fog of denial. Being alive to take care of her children became her prime motivator.

Now, 168 pounds later, she has not only slimmed down, she’s helped her entire family adopt a new healthy lifestyle.

Shortly after the incident on the roadway, Gabi saw a picture of herself that initially she didn’t recognize. “I saw a picture of a morbidly obese woman sitting on the beach with a baby in her arms staring back at me,” she described. “I was mortified when I realized that the woman in the picture was me.”

Gabi worked in the health care field and had access to “medicinal, health and nutritional symposiums.” She became a student of health, studying the science of nutrition and fitness. She discovered the food her family was consuming was not only fattening, it was downright toxic.


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Kristen White Lost 85 Pounds After Defying the Freshman15

When Kristen White moved away to attend college, she defied the odds by losing 30 pounds instead of gaining the dreaded, “Freshman 15.” Faced with a new routine, different foods and, “more natural movement around campus,” Kristen lost weight without really thinking about it. The epiphany that she could lose weight without fad diets and by simply eating in a more mindful way, gave Kristen the motivation to lose more. Now, 85 pounds thinner, she’s excited to focus on her next learning experience, a new baby!

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Family strife can have a profound effect on the way we take care of ourselves. Kristen’s parents divorced when she was just nine years old. She recalls this life event being the catalyst for future years of emotional eating. “I didn’t know how to manage all the emotions that stirred up,” she explained. “I did a lot of comforting myself through food.  This became a habit that took years to break.” She tried losing weight in high school, but the diets never stuck.

After losing 30 pounds during her first year in college, Kristen felt empowered. For real weight loss, she focused the following:

  1. Getting healthy on the inside; healing old wounds was a huge factor of success for me.
  2. Learning to eat more mindfully (i.e., eating when I was hungry, stopping when I was full).
  3. Learning about food and nutrition so I could understand what would be healthy for my body.
  4. Learning to exercise in a way that I enjoyed.


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Ramani Durvasula Lost 81 Pounds When She Jumped to the Dirty Plate Club

When Ramani Durvasula’s young daughter became ill, she took stock of her life and realized that her daughter’s condition may be out of her control, but her personal health was not. As a licensed clinical psychologist and professor of psychology, Ramani was in tune to why she was overweight, she just needed a new perspective. By adopting some “old school,” habits, Ramani lost 81 pounds.

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As the mother of four children, Ramani noticed the creeping-on of weight over the years. She attributed it to less activity, not being mindful of what she ate and the common pitfall, emotional eating. “I used food as a one stop shop – lover, friend, numbing agent, celebration tool, kleenex – just about everything,” she said.

Like many women, Ramani thought she knew what she weighed but after a frustrating night preparing for a date with her husband, she began to wonder. “I knew I had put on a little weight, but figured I should be able to toss on some oversized garments my mom brought me back from India,” she explained. “I put these big tent clothes on and dress after dress ripped. I was mortified, sad and confused. I stepped on a scale – assuming I would weigh in at about 160 pounds.  I stepped on and it registered 202 pounds.”


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Alisa Gonzalez Lost 67 Pounds with Bob Greene and Cardio Barre

I’m not sure what changed, or where I found the strength to start, but in May 2007 I went on a diet.”

In 2006, Alisa Gonzalez watched her mother succomb to congestive heart failure, one week after her 73rd birthday. Like her mother, Alisa struggled with obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and she was also a borderline diabetic. Eight  months after her mother died, Alisa simply got tired of heading down the same path. Now, she’s 67 pounds thinner, and helping others find the strength to get healthy.

Alisa Gonzalez Collage

Like many people who come from a family that seems to be genetically predisposed to obesity, Alisa says being overweight was just the norm, “Every female person, on my mom’s side of the family, is overweight in varying degrees,” she explained. “Although I didn’t like being overweight, it didn’t bother me – it’s just who I was.” Instead of trying to offset her unlucky genes, Alisa did the opposite. “I loved eating junk food, fried and high-fat foods,” she admitted. “I was never an “over-eater”, however, I made very poor food choices and I NEVER exercised.  I wanted to eat whatever I felt like eating, even if it meant that I was going to be fat.”

I have tons of energy and my digestion issues have vanished.  Now, I eat for health.”

Alisa started her weight loss journey by following the Bob Greene Best Life Plan. By eating 5-6 small meals each day including foods high in fiber and protein, she was able to stave off hunger pangs. She also cut out diet soda, which she admits to drinking a lot of. In addition to eating smaller meals, Alisa learned to eat foods that were good for her body. After suffering with stomach and digestion issues, she consulted with a doctor and holistic nutritionist who encouraged her to eliminate gluten, dairy and animal protein from her diet. “It’s absolutely amazing how wonderful I feel,” she said. “Now I eat lots of beans, lentils, quinoa, fruits, nuts, nut butters, and tons of vegetables.”


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