April BEFORE and AFTER Weight Loss Photos – Who Should Win $100?
By ANN RUSNAK
It is widely accepted that having a strong support system is a great first step towards achieving your goals. Thousands of LIVESTRONG members can be found cheering each other on and providing advice and motivation to one another every day in our Community section. Topics being discussed include Quit Smoking, Track Food Daily, Be Fit, Food, Cooking & Recipes, Reader-Recommended Gear, Stay Sober, Running, Lose 50+ Pounds, and Weight Loss.
Each month (and on a weekly basis for the Reader-Recommended Gear contest), we run contests where members compete to win $50 and $100 gift cards. There are contests asking people to share their motivation to quit smoking, to post their favorite healthy recipes, and share their fitness transformations and weight loss success stories - including "before" and "after" photos like these from our first female entrant this month, LIVESTRONG Member Marimba210:
This month we are also voting on the finalists for our Best Motivations contest with a $250 gift card and FitBit Flex as the prize. Be sure to follow this link to vote on which member’s story you find the most inspiring! Be sure to spread the word! And keep an eye on the LIVESTRONG Community for future upcoming contests that YOU might want to enter!
Female Entrant #2: LIVESTRONG Member meshuge
In 1990, meshuge was 26 when doctors discovered a tumor in her lung and told her that she most likely had five years to live. Although before her surgery she had been in great shape, she spent the next many years leaning on the excuse of having only one lung to avoid exercise. At the thought of turning 50 and being unable to "walk up a flight of stairs" meshuge reached a turning point. She has lost 59 pounds and 13 inches off of her waist "so far", and lowered her body fat percentage from 45 to 19! Twenty-four years after her diagnosis she says, "I climb big hills on that bike with my one lung now."
Male Entrant #1: LIVESTRONG Member Ady138
After becoming a father at 43, Ady138 was determined to get healthy so he could keep up with his new daughter. He wanted her to "be proud of her dad", and this motivated him to start changing his habits. He eliminated sugar and starchy foods as part of his effort to eat healthy, and he followed a rigorous workout program combining time spent both working out at home and in the gym. After nine months he looks forward to every workout and shares, "I can't believe the energy I have." Not surprisingly, Ady138 considers his journey to be "a complete life changing experience."
Female Entrant #3: LIVESTRONG Member hawaiibetty
While serving in the military in her younger years hawaiibetty wrote that she had maintained her weight "with excessive cardio workouts and bulimia." After a long struggle with a debilitating back injury and a high-risk pregnancy left her struggling with depression and weighing over 250 pounds she reached a turning point and determined to start actively fighting to regain control of her health.
hawaiibetty completely overhauled her lifestyle. She joined a gym and started using the MyPlate Calorie Tracker. She started participating in the LIVESTRONG message boards, and "through its use I met some wonderful people and gained a wealth of knowledge." She developed a passion for weight-lifting and "being a strong woman inside and out" through her interaction with the friends she made while participating in the LIVESTRONG Community, which she is "eternally grateful" for!
Male Entrant #2: LIVESTRONG Member March87
Near the end of 2012 March87 was living an extremely sedentary lifestyle and morbidly obese at over 300 pounds when he decided it was time to make a change. By January 2013 he had started putting one foot in front of the other in his quest for a healthier life. He learned about tracking the food he ate, eating healthier and exercising willpower. Because of the strain his weight put on his feet it was a few months before walking more than 20 minutes was even possible for March87.
Today, March87 has lost well over 100 pounds. He can run a 10k and keep on going. He has "embraced" his new lifestyle and loves the fact that because it doesn't feel overly restrictive he feels confident he can maintain his new healthier habits. The most important thing he would like to share with others that he has learned on his journey is that "in order to succeed, you must find, search, capture, grasp that ONE thing that forms the visceral reason why you are doing this. By doing that, it will help you to keep moving forward."
Readers – After reading these members’ stories and seeing their transformations which guy and gal do you think should win the $100 prize this month? Leave a comment below and let us know! Also, do you have a weight loss or bodybuilding transformation of your own to share? Did you take your “Before” photos yet? Here are some tips on how to take them. If not, why not? (If you do, consider entering the April ”Before” and “After” contest!)
Ann Rusnak is LIVESTRONG's Sr. Community Manager. Her quest to lose the "baby weight" before the "baby" finished elementary school sparked an interest in health and fitness that continues to be a passion to this day. She loves hiking and yoga, and thinks the best exercise is one you can do with a good friend. Over the years Ann's desire to fit into a certain size has evolved into what she feels is the more important goal of feeling good and having energy to live life to its fullest.