Courtesy Ashleigh Smith
Ashleigh Smith, 26, suddenly began gaining weight her senior year of high school. By the time she turned 23, she was up to 224 pounds. Following the birth of her daughter, she developed type 2 diabetes, a chronic disease that her doctors told her could improve with weight loss. Armed with determination, she decided to make healthy dietary changes and stick to them. The change in diet paid off for Smith; she lost a total of 98 pounds.
She tells Reader’s Digest, “I think the best feeling is crying happy tears in the dressing room because you can fit in a smaller size.” She wants others to know they don’t need to wait for a special occasion to make better choices for their lives. She advises, “Just do it. Stop waiting for the new year, or a Monday, or the beginning of the month or even a new day. Start now.”
Do it for yourself
Courtesy Eli W.
The struggle with weight became more than an inconvenience for Eli, when he went to college. “Once I was on my own, I gained the freshman 15 and kept gaining 15 pounds for the last 12 years,” he tells Reader’s Digest. “Adding to that, I also gained ‘baby weight’ by competitive eating with my wife during her two pregnancies.”
Eventually Eli, now 32, realized that in order to lose the weight and be successful, he had to want it for himself and no one else. Only then did the pounds begin to melt away. “I saw a picture of myself and it suddenly struck me that that was not the person that I wanted to be anymore,” he explains. “In that moment of clarity, I realized that I tried for so long to diet for other people, when really, I needed to diet for me. When I saw that picture, I said to myself, ‘I will never be that person again.’ I haven’t looked back.”
Eli says the motto that helped him become a weight loss before and after success story—and lose a grand total of 170 pounds—was, “You will thank yourself tomorrow for the choices you make today.” He says, “A healthy lifestyle isn’t learning to enjoy healthy foods more, but rather building up your resistance to eating food that will hurt you in the long run.” Here are 15 more weight-loss mantras for long-term dieting success.