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True Weight Loss Story: Leah Segedie
Known online as Bookie Boo, this mom lost 170 pounds in the face of an eating disorder, a death, and two pregnancies.
"My story has always been inspirational. It’s an example of strength born out of tragedy. I’ve lost over 170 pounds in four years. It happened over two pregnancies, but that doesn’t make what I did any less impressive when you understand that I have an eating disorder. My battle is an ongoing one. It will be with me the rest of my life. But over the years, I’ve found a way to manage it and help others. Taking what happened to me and helping others with it is where the inspiration lies." Meet Leah Segedie. Leah's incredible weight loss journey started four years ago, when she weighed 253 pounds. She was an athlete, but an eating disorder left her binging on food and maintaining a size 14. When her father was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare cancer caused by asbestos exposure, Leah was 25, with a rocking PR career, and a voice inside that told her she had to care for him. "It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life—watching your loved one suffer horrible pain and agony and not being able to do anything about it," she says. While she was the rock for her father and family, Leah didn't have the support left to give to herself. As such, her eating took over. When her father passed, Leah was left 70 pounds heavier and to care for her new three-month-old son. It was then that she had that "ah-ha" moment that pushes so many people to finally start making imperative lifestyle changes. "After he died, the shock of it all got me to thinking about what I wanted for my son—what my priorities were for him as his mother," Leah told DietsInReview. "I wanted to be a good mom and good wife. My weight gain had me prisoner in my own house from the shame I felt. I knew I needed to get my weight under control. I didn’t want to be the mom who was too tired to enjoy life. I wanted to be active and healthy and a good role model. So I decided to make a change and that was my first step." Those first steps were baby steps, making simple changes like walking more and removing soda from her home and diet. "I made it doable. I was afraid of quitting." Along the way she says she found her "exercise soulmate" in Tae Bo. That's something everyone must find, the one fitness method that appeals to them and draws them in. It's when you find this style of activity that you love it, crave it, and give it all you've got. Otherwise, you're just another person dreading the treadmill. Within two years Leah had shed 104 pounds. Then, she became pregnant with her second child and this time did it all by the book, watching her diet and continuing to exercise, but still managed to gain 60 pounds. Nine months after her second child's birth, she'd lost another 73 pounds. "The story isn’t over for me," adds Leah. "My struggles have inspired me to support other women in healthy life decisions with the Mamavation campaign and BookieBoo.com, which is a social networking site and online magazine for moms into fitness, weight loss, and healthy living." "The Mamavation campaign is for moms who want to learn healthy living—moms who are slowly morphing into healthy role models for their family. It’s both a healthy living sorority and virtual boot camp in social media with the goal of sharing those healthy lifestyle choices with the family and sparing the children from a lifetime of obesity." Thank you, Leah, for sharing such an inspiring story, and for being a champion of fit, healthy moms. See more examples of healthy weight loss success in our True Weight Loss Stories series.Flag this Video