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Alan Ali lost 140 Pounds, “My Weight Doesn’t Define Me or My Abilities”

At Diets In Review we meet some truly inspirational people, Alan Ali is one of them. His brave admission about his struggle with binge eating, and his encouraging attitude make him one of our favorites. We even named him best “selfie of the year.” Though he’s already lost an astonishing 140 pounds, he’s determined to lose more. Along the way, he’s also learning that his weight doesn’t define him, or his abilities.

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At 480 pounds, Alan was miserable. In 2009, he knew he’d hit rock bottom. “I found myself recently laid off from a job that I loved, I had just been diagnosed with sleep apnea, I was borderline diabetic, and my feet and legs always felt numb,” he said.

“I hated my life and I decided I wanted better for myself, I deserved better.” Overweight most of his life, Alan knew he needed to get help, not only with losing weight, but also fighting the demon that would be his biggest challenge, binge eating.

Food was my solution to all my problems and stressors in life.

Alan knew he needed a guide so he met with a registered dietitian. “I was lucky to find one that I really connected with,” he explained. “I ended up working with her for about a year. She taught me a lot about food and how to eat with balance in my life.”

When Alan admitted to himself that he suffered from a binge eating disorder, it was time to admit it to someone else. “I remember the first time I told my Mama about my binge eating, it was one of the best things I ever did,” Alan admitted. “It felt great to just get it off my chest and tell someone. I just needed to say it out loud; I needed to hear myself say it.”


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Dawn Bonavita Lost 93 Pounds After Painful Struggle with Fertility

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This Sunday, when Dawn Bonavita celebrates Mother’s Day, she will likely open homemade cards made by sticky hands and hug each child as they bound in to tell her good morning. In the decade and a half it took to have her three daughters, Dawn struggled with infertility, pregnancy loss, and weight that fluctuated wildly due to stress and bouts of depression.

After losing 93 pounds, Dawn feels blessed that she’s now the mom who can play with her kids without feeling winded, lift up her two year old with ease, and be an example of healthy living.

Just say no to cookies – This was the humiliating advice given to Dawn by a pediatrician when she was just a young girl. Heavy most of her childhood, Dawn became very active in high school and sprouted to five foot ten, which kept her trim for a few years but soon, the process of starting a family would take its toll on her waistline once again.

“My late twenties and all of my thirties were consumed with fertility issues,” Dawn explained. “We used fertility treatments to get pregnant with our first child and it worked within three months.” Unfortunately, Dawn’s second pregnancy would not be as easy. During the four years it took to conceive her second child, Dawn endured four rounds of IVF treatments and lost five pregnancies.


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Amanda Gosik Lost an Incredible 175 Pounds. “I Weigh Less Now Than I Did in the 6th Grade.”

If you’re a parent you know the feeling of wanting more for your children, greater happiness, more friendships, a better education, etc. That feeling of devotion was especially true for Amanda Gosik, a mother of three from Missouri. Though she had been heavy all of her life, she didn’t get serious about weight loss until a doctor told her that her 3-year-old was considered obese. That was Amanda’s wakeup call.

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“That was the sign I needed to get serious and make some changes or my family would suffer,” admitted Amanda. After losing an astonishing 175 pounds, she’s truly leading by example.

More from Amanda in her own words: 

When did your weight struggles begin? “I have always been large aside from early childhood. My first and second grade pictures are tiny and then by third grade I was noticeably overweight. My 6th grade year I wore a size 20 pants. I battled to lose during my teens and early 20′s and nothing changed.”

What habits specifically led you to gain weight? ”Eating my feelings were a big part of it, I’m sure. Growing up in a house where takeout happened all the time and ‘cooked’ meals were fried or TV dinners didn’t help either.”


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Kelly Therieau Lost 113 Pounds But She’s Not Focused On The Number – “I’ll Stop When I’m Healthy.”

There is not a specific number that I am shooting for – I’ll stop when I’m healthy.

Kelly Therieau isn’t striving to reach a magical number on the scale, she just wants to be a better, healthier version of herself. After losing 113 pounds, she’s well on her way. Today, Kelly opens up about the “light bulb” moment that created clarity for her “cold turkey” weight loss, and the way she’s using her journey to help others.

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At almost 300 pounds, Kelly knew she was headed into dangerous territory. When diabetes, liver issues and heart distress made her a weekly visitor to her doctor’s office, she felt her health spiraling further out of control. Her doctor confirmed this when he sat her down and told her if she didn’t make a huge lifestyle change, she wouldn’t live to see 40. She was only 36.

She had often joked that she was still carrying 19 years worth of baby fat, but sitting in the car after that appointment, she remembers having a, “huge meltdown.” At that moment she knew it was time for the jokes and excuses to end. A lifetime of bad eating habits and inactivity had taken their toll.


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A Deathbed Promise to God Helps Stephanie Bernstein Lose 80 Pounds

For two weeks, Stephanie Bernstein walked around with only 40% lung capacity. Soon she would discover that 100s of tiny blood clots had invaded her lungs, resulting in a massive pulmonary embolism. Five years ago when Stephanie got the news, she made a deathbed pact to God vowing to make some “serious changes to get healthy.”

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Now, 80 pounds lighter, she’s the healthiest she’s ever been in her life, and at 51, she’s having fun picking out trendy clothes and even turning a few heads in the process.

Like many of our true weight loss rock stars, Stephanie said her weight is something she has struggled with her whole life. “I was intimidated by exercise, and I loved sweets and comfort food.”

The extra pounds even affected her self esteem. “It was always the thing that held me back from being truly happy,” she admitted. “I never felt attractive, and always felt like the ugly duckling.”

The promise she made to God

Stephanie was determined to get healthy for her daughters. After losing their first mothers in China, she prayed that her life would be saved so the girls wouldn’t have to go through another devastating loss. Following the embolism, she spent a year enduring constant blood draws and Lovenox shots to reduce the risk of further clotting. Once her body was healthy enough for exercise, Stephanie got busy making good on her promise.
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