Tag Archives: true weight loss

Pamela Arias Lost 150 Pounds When She Walked Away from Her Sugar Addiction

Pamela Arias lost over 150 pounds. After being overweight for most of her life, Pamela admits she weighs 24 pounds more right now than she did in the 6th grade. “And to think that I lived my entire life this way until I was 38 years old,” she said. “I’m so glad I made the decision two years ago to change my life.”

pamela arias

More from Pamela in her own words –

What habits specifically led you to gain weight? I ate fast food, processed foods and fried foods. This was the only lifestyle I’d ever known.

What made you realize you needed to change? I was miserable every day. I had horrible sciatica, lower back pain, and my knees would give out going up and down stairs in my own home. One day I had taken the kids to the local races. You had to walk an incline to get into the event, but not very far. I couldn’t catch my breath. My husband had to go get the car and come pick me up.

How did you lose the weight? Through lots of hard work, dedication and research. I do both cardio and heavy weight training. I eat a much more healthy diet now than I ever did. I stay away from processed, boxed, canned foods and only shop the outer edges of the grocery store. I count my calories and eat depending on what my goals are.

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Shelly Jones Lost 57 Pounds When She Refused to Fall Back on Old Habits After Knee Surgery

Shelly Jones lives by the motto, “Keep moving forward.” After losing 57 pounds, she was waylaid by knee surgery and other external forces beyond her control. Though she’s been frustrated by the lack of movement on the scale, she knows there are other methods to chart her success including the way her body feels, the healthy choices she makes and in the way her clothes fit.

When Shelly went swimsuit shopping this summer she said she almost started crying. “I realized how much smaller I looked in the mirror and how much better I feel.” Regarding the picture below, Shelly admitted, ” That girl in the first two pictures, while happy, was miserable.”

shelly jones swimsuit

More from Shelly in her own words:

Tell me when your weight struggles began. My weight struggles started when I was a child. Many of my fondest memories have food in them. I am not sure at what point I became fat, but I can recall being made fun of as early as 3rd grade.

What habits specifically led you to gain weight? God created me a little on the sensitive side with a flare for drama and these emotions were handled with food. They still are to this day. As much as I showed my emotions, I covered them up inside, calorie after calorie.

What caused you to realize you needed to change? I have always known I needed to change, I just had difficulty making it happen. I do not want to pass down a legacy of bad food choices, dependence on food, or an unhealthy body weight or image to my girls.

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Andrea Green Lost 136 Pounds by saying “You are Not a Dog. Do Not Reward Yourself with Food.”

“The kids used to say ‘Look out, Pudge is having a big mac attack, get out of her way.” Andrea Green can still recall the cruel taunts from her childhood. Considered almost morbidly obese from a young age. Andrea grew to be an adult who lived in her body, but didn’t live for it. Then, a scary health diagnosis for her husband and an inspiring chance encounter at a wedding convinced her to change her lifestyle.

Now, 136 pounds lighter, Andrea is doing things she never thought possible, like completing a short course triathlon.

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I lost 10 pounds the wrong way by under eating and over exercising, which damaged my metabolism.

Over the years, Andrea tried to lose weight on her own, but she pursued the quick fix instead of the long haul approach. By the time she married her husband, she’d gained another 90 pounds. “I used being busy as an excuse to eat takeout and convenience food,” she admitted. “I used to work two full-time jobs. I never packed meals so I ate out twice a day. Then when I got married, we ate a lot of pre-packaged foods.”

Before when I saw people succeed at this kind of weight loss, I thought they were somehow super human, had personal chefs or didn’t work. 

When Andrea’s husband was diagnosed with diabetes, she realized that both their diets needed a huge overhaul. To lose weight, she considered gastric bypass surgery, but then she remembered the friend she had seen recently at a wedding. He was also busy with work and famil, but still managed to lose 100 pounds just by changing his lifestyle.

Before having the surgery, Andrea decided to give herself five months to see progress on her own. In that time she lost 60 pounds! (more…)

Susan Hanks Lost 118 Pounds with the Help of a Caring Personal Trainer and Flat-Out Determination!

Susan Hanks is the reason this True Weight Loss segment makes my heart happy. At one point, her weight exceeded 500 pounds. Instead of turning to fad diets or pills, she just dug deep and swapped bad habits for good ones. She admits it’s been a mental struggle, and she couldn’t have done it without the help of her fabulous personal trainer.

susan hanks collage crop

Now, 118 pounds down, this courageous woman knows how to lose weight and stay healthy, she just has to stay the course. “I take it one meal at a time,” she said.

Food was my comfort.

It’s a sentiment we hear so many times at DIR. People turn to food for celebration, comfort, boredom, and it’s rarely bell peppers that they’re mindlessly munching.  “I ate all the time, bad food was better, and I never ate healthy,” Susan admitted. “I was miserable. I had no friends and low self esteem. I knew I was eating myself to death. Finally I realized I wanted more out of life. I was tired of just existing.”

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Deb Arneson-Suarez Lost Almost 100 Pounds When She Said, “No More Excuses.”

Almost two years ago, Deb Arneson-Suarez saw a new Planet Fitness gym in her neighborhood. She took this literal sign as a figurative sign that it was time! Time to get healthy and lose the weight that had been with her for as long as she could remember. Now, down almost 100 pounds, she credits her competitive nature for keeping her on the path to her goal.

deb arneson suarez

Deb says by the time she was in the 5th grade she was already familiar with commercial weight loss programs and restrictive diets but for her, the very idea of restriction, always set her up to fail. In her twenties, Deb says “drinking and other bad lifestyle choices” contributed to her weight gain. Sadly, when she realized it was time to get clean and sober, she gained even more.

When Deb saw the “open 24 hours” logo at Planet Fitness, she knew there would be no more excuses for not treating herself better. “The city metro bus stop I used to go to work and come home was right in front of the gym,” she said. “I was sick of feeling tired, sick and miserable. I wanted to be healthy – truly healthy.”

She knew that losing weight would have to be a two-fold approach so she started going to the gym every night after work – even if it was only for 30 minutes at a time – and then adopted a predominantly vegetarian lifestyle. “I used the internet like crazy,” she explained. “If I craved something chocolate (like brownies) I would research healthier options like flourless black bean brownies. Yum!” (more…)

With a 90 Pound Weight Loss, Brigette Underwood is About to Hit ‘Onederland.’

I’m just throwing it out there, I adore Brigette Underwood. Today’s true weight loss story comes to us from deep in the heart of Mississippi. This southern girl knows her food triggers (fried chicken), but now instead of yo-yo dieting, she’s finding balance and a healthier relationship with food than she’s ever had before. Look at that smile. I want to sit and sip on some sweet tea with you, girl.

brigette underwood collage 1

More from Brigette in her own words.

Tell me when your weight struggles began. I distinctly remember in 3rd grade a boy asking if I had a baby in my tummy. I was always bigger than my friends. I never felt pretty or accepted because of my weight. I would go through phases of crash dieting and starving myself but obviously none of that worked. I had a very unhealthy relationship with food.

What caused you to realize you needed to change? I realized I needed to change when I had a physical done before I started nursing school. My blood pressure was 150/91, the highest it had ever been, and I weighed a whopping 254lbs. How did I let myself get to that point? I don’t really know. But I knew I needed to change or I was going to have major health problems and I was only 19 years old.

How did you lose the weight? I started by simply down sizing my portions. I wasn’t necessarily eating better but I was eating less. Then one day I decided to join a gym and I fell in love with working out! What a great stress relief from nursing school. The more I worked out the better I wanted to eat. The better I ate, the better I felt.

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Sara Kolling Lost 85 Pounds After Leaving an Abusive Relationship

If you’ve ever been in an abusive relationship, you know how it drains you of your spirit and self-esteem. Today, our true weight loss story focuses on Sara Kolling, a woman who had the courage to leave her abuser and for the first time in a long time, devote herself to her own well being. After losing 85 pounds, Sara feels stronger than she has in years, in more ways than one.

Sara Kolling Collage

Though Sara admits she was always the girl who was picked on and teased in school about her weight, she acknowledges that the pounds really started to pack on during the first year of her marriage. Once the abuse began, Sara became an emotional eater and says she just ate, “no matter what.” After three years, Sara finally sought a divorce.

The first thing I changed was no more diet soda, and no more eating after seven p.m.

On her own again, Sara finally got serious about wanting to lose weight when she got tired of her clothes being too tight, not being able to keep up with the students she worked with, and feeling like she couldn’t do even the simplest workout routine. She started by eliminating all the sugary, processed and junk food from her diet. The book, The Eat Clean Diet, by Tosca Reno was her first guide.

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Bell Smith Lost 67 Pounds – “I’ll Never Be Skinny But I Can Still Carry Weight and Be Healthy”

Bell Smith is a belly-dancing beauty who embraces her curves because she knows they belong to a healthy body. For a time in her life, Bell let stress and grief take hold and she forgot to focus on her own well-being. Not anymore. After a 67-pound weight loss and mind-shift, Bell has transformed her life and her body.

More from Bell in her own words –

Bell Smith collage

Tell me when your weight struggles began. As a child, I could eat what I wanted and get away with it, but when I lost both my parents in the span of two years and then job stress piled on, so did the weight.  I experienced out-of-control eating, excess carb intake and I really overdid the fast food.

What caused you to realize you needed to change? I saw a family picture of myself in 2009 and thought, “I’m fat.” Since my dad’s side of the family carried a lot of weight and both parents had high blood pressure and diabetes, I knew I had to take charge.

How did you lose the weight? I knew I had gained weight, yet I had been belly dancing since 2001 and my troupe accepted me as I was. I didn’t realize how much weight I’d gained. I started off by walking in the early morning with friends while it was dark so no one could see me, then signed up for a gym membership.

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Kara Allbaugh Lost 80 Pounds – “I Was a Food Addict and then Something Shifted. I’m So Glad.”

My name is Kara, I’m from Nebraska, and I was a food addict. This was my first introduction to Kara Allbaugh, this week’s True Weight Loss Story inspiration. When I received Kara’s email I was struck by her honesty and touched by her story. This mama said, “No more. I’m worthy,” and then she put in the hard work to lose 80 pounds.

Kara Allbaugh 1

More from Kara in her own words –

Tell me when your weight struggles began. After I finished with school and settled down, it seemed like a downhill slide from there. When I got pregnant, I just gave up on how I looked. I just assumed that’s what happens.

What habits specifically led you to gain weight? I thought I needed to eat for two, and I did. Fast food became an addiction.

What caused you to realize you needed to change? Wow, so many things. My biggest reason was that I wanted to stop being miserable. I didn’t want to be trapped in a flabby body anymore. I wanted to wear anything I wanted, not search forever for something that might make my body look cute.

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Crystal and Lior Collins Lost A Combined Weight of Almost 200 Pounds – “We Finally Found the Perfect Balance”

Sometimes in life you meet that special person who fills your heart in all the right places, and you find that you want to be with them all the time. It didn’t take long for Crystal and Lior Collins to find this cozy place. Unfortunately, cozy became sedentary, and they both resumed old patterns of unhealthy eating.

After an embarrassing party epiphany, they decided to take the weight off the way they had put it on, together. Now, they have a combined weight loss of almost 200 pounds.

Crystal and Lior Collins

Crystal admits she and her husband, Lior, both struggled with weight problems in middle and high school. “Separately we were able to lose weight,” she said. “So when we started dating in 2003, we were finally under control in the weight department.” Unfortunately, the couple spent their free time focusing on what Crystal calls their only hobbies, “eating and drinking.”

The Wii Fit Voice Is Harsh

The pair knew they were eating too much and not getting enough activity but nothing spurred them into changing their habits. In 2007, while visiting with friends, Crystal became fascinated by their new Wii Fit gaming system. Eager to try it out, Crystal stepped on the pad, only to hear the machine say, “Oh. You’re obese.” Lior wouldn’t go near it.

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