"My wife's courageous cancer battle inspired me to be healthier."
Over the course of a year, he dropped 95 pounds, accrediting much of his success to Subway, where he selected veggie-rich meals instead of more fatty options. Once he started exercising and burning more calories, he added low-carbohydrate snacks, but always paid close attention to his calorie intake to ensure he was always burning more than he was consuming. While the details might seem exhausting, LaFontaine believes shifting his lifestyle and mental attitude is what made weight loss possible. "If you want to lose weight, it's about committing yourself to choosing healthy options, moderating the portions, and forcing your body into action. It requires consistency, too," he says, "actively squashing excuses to eat bad food, excuses to avoid working out, and excuses to 'start next week.' It took me eight months and one day to lose 95 pounds; however, it took me nearly 12 months to even start my healthy journey."
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"I finally said 'yes' to gastric bypass surgery."
He signed up for a gastric sleeve, invested in a personal trainer six days a week, and shifted his eating habits—and then dropped 175 pounds in eight months. This was so much better than any fad diet he had tried in the past, he says, because of how he's shifted his routine to lasting healthy habits. The experience for Whitman hasn't just been physical, but emotional, too, what he calls the "most magical journey."
"Everyone will have an opinion. Some will tell you why what you're doing is unhealthy, no matter the route you choose, or how you should do it differently," he says. "Block that noise out, put your blinders on, and go for glory. When your persistence wins and your results show up, so do your cheerleaders. Let your success shine so you can inspire others. That is what kept me inspired in the tough days. And believe me, the tough days still happen. But you will be stronger and handle them better than ever before."
"I was tired of feeling unhappy about my body—so I changed it."
"Weight loss is a journey," he shares. "It's hard at the beginning, but as the results start to show, you start to get even more motivated to lose more weight. Healthy eating and fitness have become my lifestyle. I don't diet because I watch what I eat every day. I'm conscious of this because I want to look and feel healthy and be able to inspire and motivate others that don't think they can achieve their goals."
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"I lost weight to show my children anything is possible."
Eckeard had tried diet and exercise programs in the past, but none could help him both lose weight and maintain the loss. So he invested in a personal trainer. Though it's only been a few months, Eckeard is seeing significant progress: He's already dropped 41 pounds since mid-September. While his journey has only just begun, he refuses to let anything stand in his way, including injuries from a recent car accident. "I cannot allow this simple thing stop me from continuing to meet my goals," he says. "We all have those roadblocks that come up in life. However, it's determination that allows us to overcome and surpass those barriers. Do not give up on your dreams and goals, and remember that anything is possible as long as you are determined."
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"A commercial changed my life."
In addition to following P90X and Beachbody programs, Pena stopped living to eat, and now he eats to live. Within the first year of this new routine, he lost 100 pounds; to date, he's dropped 180 pounds. His shirt size has gone from a 4XL to a Large. Pena's waist size is now 34, down from 56. While he's excited by his new body and boundless energy, it's the thought that he's living a fuller—and potentially longer—life that makes him truly thankful. "I'm fairly positive I've added years on to my life, additional years to see my two daughters get married, additional years to be around for possible grandchildren, additional years to grow older together with my wife of 23 years."
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"When I couldn't recognize my reflection, I had to find my way back."
To begin this journey, she decided to hire a trainer through a local studio, DIAKADI Fitness in San Francisco. She calls this step the best decision she's ever made. Her weight has dropped from 224 pounds to 178 pounds by working out five days a week and eating clean. In addition to this positive shift in her lifestyle, Wright says it's also been important to become her own greatest cheerleader through the many ups and downs on the way. It's the advice she'd give anyone looking to make a transformation.
"Trust the process and stay disciplined. I'm speaking from experience when I say it's a gnarly mental game. It's key to stay focused on your goals," she shares. "Keep reminding yourself why you decided to make this change. Take pictures and hang on to your old clothes. When you're feeling like you're not seeing results, look back at those pictures or try on your older clothes."
Be sure to check out these weight loss tips from people who have lost 50+ pounds—and kept it off.
"My children were my inspiration to change everything."
She got started on her weight loss journey via Beachbody, choosing to follow programs like the 21-Day Fix and Insanity MAX:30 to get her going. Over the past two years, she's dropped more than 165 pounds while completely reshaping her body, her attitude, and her life. "I don't go to bed wishing I would die in my sleep, anymore. I go to bed feeling excited and accomplished. My new life is filled with first time experiences. I'm no longer trapped in what I can't do," she says. "I'm on a mission to live limitlessly. I fulfilled my son's promise to get on the rides with him one year into my journey—and I never have to be excluded again. I'm no longer afraid of life. I became the role model my children deserved."
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"I finally found boxing—and it really worked."
"Find your 'why!' Why do you want this?" he says. "Discover a form of exercise you love. If you don't love your workout, you will not do it. Believe in yourself, love yourself. Remember that you are worth all the work."
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"I got professional help to end my emotional eating."
A battle many people face, emotional eating is defined by having the urge to eat when anxious or stressed. Wilcox has dramatically reshaped herself, eventually losing 60 pounds in a year. For her diet, she seeks low-carbohydrate foods and tracks her macronutrient levels. She also works out regularly to tone and shape her changing body. She also has the support of an online community that keeps her motivated when she's feeling less than stellar. All of these aspects have made it possible for her to shed weight.
"Consistency is the main reason why people fail at losing weight, and if you can just commit, you will achieve results even you never thought were possible," she says. "Accountability is also important. Find a friend to commit with or surround yourself with others following a similar diet. Finding a weight loss community where you feel supported can make a huge difference in your weight loss journey."
Worried that you might be struggling with emotional eating? Here are seven tricks that really work.
"I found a way to lose weight and still enjoy life"
Bollaci worked on a plan with a nutritionist and physician. "I learned to engage the restaurant staff and worked with many great chefs who were eager to help me on my quest to get healthier and continue to enjoy their restaurants! I started walking every day and gradually increased my speed and the duration," he says. To stay out of trouble while dining out, avoid these eight unhealthiest restaurant meals.
After losing 30 pounds, he had the energy to work out—which allowed him occasional indulgences like pizza, pasta, bread, or dessert. When he dropped 50 pounds, he was able to hit the gym several times a week and start swimming, biking, and jogging.
"I learned to make better choices in restaurants and at home by shopping and cooking healthier, emphasizing quality," he shared. "Most diets preach eating bland, boring, or unpalatable foods for a given amount of time in order to lose weight. They fail to offer realistic chances for long-term success, or rather—how to eat once the weight is gone. Start by making better choices, eating less quantity and opting for better quality, and learn to love yourself which leads to eating healthier and getting into shape. Don't set a specific time frame for losing the weight, as each of us is different. Put one foot in front of the other and simply start."
"An Instagram account helped me lose the baby weight."
After back-to-back pregnancies, Natalie couldn't drop the weight she gained while preparing her babies for the world: "I wanted energy, I wanted to feel like the happy and joyous person that I was born to be. I often felt very sad and stuck in a body that 'wasn't mine.'" And then she found the popular FitGirlsGuide on Instagram. In addition to providing the resources she needed to lose weight, the program offered a supportive community that made her feel welcomed, regardless of her size or struggles. The interactive online group held her accountable to her goals while still being able to care for her kids at home. Her advice to others? "Drink lots of water, add lots of veggies to meals, schedule meal preps and your times to eat," she says. "But mostly, love who you are enough to want to improve yourself. Don't wait until you have 'arrived at your destination' to appreciate yourself."