Monday, August 30, 2010

Success stories: Part 1 of many

Through this weight loss journey of mine, I keep being told, "Make sure you have a support system" I want you all to know that I definitely do. I have friends all over the country that are chiming in with positive thoughts, pointers, recipes, etc. And why do I listen to them, they all have been successful in losing weight. They also are my friends and are looking out for my best interest.

With that said, today's blog is a sort of "they did it, so you can do it too" type of thing. I got a few of my friends who have lost weight recently and asked them to tell me their stories. How much did they weigh? How much did they lose? How did they do it? Everyone has a different method, but everyone has seen results. None of them had to get a personal trainer, a personal chef, a spot on the biggest loser, or plastic surgery. And in my opinion, they all look great.


Naomi at her heaviest
Naomi posing with Duff, the Ace of Cakes
Naomi has been my friend of around 15 years or so. I have seen her at her heaviest and her lightest. Naomi had what I consider a typical weight gain. She got really nice and thin for her wedding and then over the years gained some weight. A lot of us do it...including yours truly. Naomi took control for good in October 2009. She says she is a firm believer in the Curves Weight Management program. This program is a free program designed to teach you how to eat the right things and it teaches you all about your metabolism and how it works. This combined with exercise at her local Curves. This combination of education and exercise helped Naomi to lose 39 pounds in 6 months...and she is still on her way.

Naomi's favorite meals, snacks, and recipes:

Naomi is very proud of her weight loss and her arms
Pancakes: 1/2 cup old-fashioned oatmeal, 1/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese, two eggs, dash of vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Blend all together and cook like a regular pancake.

Fave snacks: fat-free cottage cheese with a little low-fat ricotta, with a cut-up pear and some blackberries or blueberries, stirred up with a Splenda packet and some cinnamon.
Zone protein bars

Blue Diamond Garden Herb Flavored Almonds

Naomi also that making vegetable the biggest portion of her meal has been helpful. Filling half of her plate first with veggies and then her protein with a small side is key to a healthy diet. She also is currently managing her local Curves.


I have also known Kari since high school. She has always had a nice body and has been fairly thin. Kari's story is a little bit different. After having her two beautiful daughter's Kari only had about 15 pounds to lose and yet she still didn't feel right. She felt fat and has quoted herself as getting "too comfortable sitting down with the box of Cheezits" at night when the kids were sleeping. But that is not why she sought help. Kari was feeling more tired than she had been used to or should have been. She went in to her doctor for a check up and found out that she was diabetic. In her case, making a life change wasn't a was a requirement. Kari had to change her diet relatively quickly. 

Kari has dropped 15 pounds and is feeling healthier, but would still like to drop 5 more pounds by the holidays. She does still have diabetes, but is feeling better and definitely learning how to manage it. She sticks to around 1500 calories and does the occasional workout, though she considers hauling laundry up and down the stairs exercise enough.

Her biggest tip is to eat everything in moderation and pay attention to labels. If it say you can have 16 cheezits, that's what you have...16. Also, like Naomi, she has adopted the good practice of filling her plate half with vegetables and then adding her sides and meats.

Some of Kari's favorite foods: 
Low sugar (but not sugar free) jelly,  low sugar chocolate syrup, and low sugar syrup (which could come in handy with Naomi's pancakes). She also keeps a bag of chocolate chips on hand...she says eating about 9 curbs her craving for chocolate and doesn't ruin a diet.  

Kari says that the diabetes wasn't completely a bad thing. She considers it a blessing that she was able to lose the 15 pounds she wanted to lose and now her daughters will grow up learning how to make smart choices instead of tucking in at night with a box of Cheezits. 


Michael is a friend of mine from college. He tells it like it is and pretty much doesn't sugar coat anything. I like having him in my corner to just tell me like it is.

2.5 years ago Michael was at his heaviest. 247 pounds. It was then that he decided that it was time to make a change. 

Michael has a funny way about his weight loss, but it's honest if nothing else. Also, it is incredibly realistic. For someone such as myself, who loves food, it's tough to say no. Michael didn't, he just made changes. He learned about portions and how to get "more bang for his buck". He started tracking his food. Teaching himself what calories were entering his body and learning if those calories were fulfilling or not. He was eating the same things he always did, but in lower calorie versions. He learned about how many calories he was burning a day versus what he was eating and figured out what he had to burn in order to actually lose weight.

His wife, April, served a wonderful support system and lost a few pounds too...though she didn't need to. It helped him to have a support system and to have someone help make those good decision instead of ordering pizza for the 4th day that week. Sure, he still indulges in the occasional pizza, but you won't catch him at 247 lbs again. Michael lost 63 pounds and is now 184 lbs.

Michael before and after

Michael's diet tip must have? A digital food scale. Also, he suggests using a free calorie counting website such as However, my favorite piece of advice from Michael has been, "Get over the 'it's good for me' BS. Yeah, 'good fat' is better than 'bad fat,' but seriously, olive oil is still 120 cal per tablespoon. Would you rather have a tablespoon of olive oil or a skinny cow bar? Yeah, that's what I thought. Me too." Tell it like it is.

My next success story piece will include my dear friends Eileen, Mandy, and Aubrey. I love to know how people lost their weight. It makes me happy and inspired.

1 comment:

  1. Way to go, everyone!! You all look FABULOUS!