Before and After Pics from Our $100 Weight Loss Winners
By KELLY PLOWE
In LIVESTRONG's Community Conversations section you'll find a hub of honest, like-minded people offering advice, support and answers to all of your health and fitness questions. There are a variety of topics covered including Quit Smoking, Track Food Daily, Be Fit, Food, Cooking & Recipes, Reader-Recommended Gear, Stay Sober, Running, Lose 50+ Pounds, and Lose Weight.
Each month (and on a weekly basis for the Reader-Recommended Gear contest), we run a number of contests asking members to reply to a post in order to compete to win a $50 or $100 gift card. There are contests asking for 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.
I want to highlight a few of the past months' winners from the Before & After contest. Their stories describe the weight and health struggles that so many can relate to but they all have one thing in common - they have all lost a significant amount of weight (as much as 156 pounds!) and have kept it off through a healthy diet and exercise. Here are their stories:
Four years ago LIVESTRONG community member Majinpunker was carrying 320 pounds at 5'8", and he was unhappy with the state of his physical health. At the time he was afraid his 5-year-old daughter would remember her dad as being unhealthy or that she'd grow to learn a similar lifestyle. When this fear really sunk in, he stopped eating all junk food, began making healthy eating choices and started to hit the gym five days a week. After 15 months, he managed to shed 125 pounds and has kept if off for four years. Marjinpunker looks back with pride. He's currently at 195 pounds and says his daughter and now 3-year-old son are both proud to call him Dad.
LIVESTRONG community member Urdialese struggled with her weight her entire life. At 13 years old she weighed over 200 pounds. Desperate, she tried every weight loss diet and gimmick and was successful in losing weight but ultimately always gained the weight back...plus another 20 pounds. After the birth of her second child, she hit an all-time high of 302 pounds and her self-esteem hit an all-time low. In January 2011, Urdialese started tracking her foods every day using LIVESTRONG.COM's MyPlate food tracking tool and lost 84 pounds in one year. In April 2012, she reached her initial goal of 199.9 pounds but she kept going. Six months later she began exercising by walking on a treadmill and the weight loss continued. Today, Urdialese weighs 164.2 pounds. She keeps herself honest and maintains her weight by continuing to track her foods through MyPlate. "I'm happier than I have ever been and truly believe this app has added years to my life. I did this for my children, and my only regret was not doing it earlier in life.”
Four years ago, Orca8723 had Type 2 diabetes and weighed more than 330 pounds. As she puts it, "I didn't struggle with my weight — I just lived with it. I was never a yo-yo dieter, I just enjoyed food too much." But once she realized her lifestyle was going to cut her life short, she decided it was time to make some changes. She joined a gym and the first day she walked for a half hour on the treadmill at a pace of 2.3 miles per hour. Early in her journey she stumbled upon LIVESTRONG.COM and used it every day whether to track her foods using MyPlate, looking for support or reading nutrition and fitness articles. Her hard work and determination earned her a 150 pounds weight loss, which she has managed to keep off. Today, she's hiked more than 3,000 miles.
JoePeak is used to being an active guy, competing in half Ironman triathlons and even running a marathon. When an injury sidelined him, Joe found himself not exercising or eating right and about 30 pounds over his usual body weight. Five months ago, he began a slow and steady journey to getting back into shape. He began going to the gym regularly again and following a healthy diet and he lost about 15 pounds. Joe's got another 15 pounds in his sight, which he hopes to lose by this summer.
Readers – If you have an inspiring fitness or weight loss transformation story that you'd like to share for a chance to win a $100 VISA gift card, post it in this month's Before & After contest. Here are some tips on how to take your “Before” photos.
Similarly, if you would like to enter this month's Quit Smoking motivation contest, let us know about your motivation to quit smoking by sharing it within the contest thread.
Kelly Plowe is a nutritionist and food and health communications specialist. As a registered dietitian and certified Sports Dietitian, Kelly helps consumers put health and nutrition research into practice. She believes diet is at the center of a healthy and fulfilling life and is dedicated to helping others be their best, starting with a healthy diet and active lifestyle. Kelly lives in Los Angeles with her fiancé and their bulldog, Sunny. She is an avid runner and CrossFit enthusiast. Living in SoCal, Kelly spends most of her free time outside ocean swimming, riding her beach cruiser and going to music concerts.