Raise your hand if this sounds familiar: It's Day One of your weight-loss journey, and you've never felt more motivated. You've got a goal in mind and a plan to get there, and it feels like nothing can stop you. You've. Got. This.
That gung-ho attitude sustains you through a week or maybe even two, and then you hit a snag. Maybe stress at work causes you to overeat, or a scheduling conflict prevents you from getting to the gym. Or maybe the results you saw at first start to slow down, and your mental grit takes a hit.
These people have been there, done that — and come out the other side.
If your motivation is flagging, draw inspiration from these weight-loss success stories starring people who have overcome all kinds of personal hurdles to successfully transform their bodies and their health.
Women's Weight-Loss Success Stories
Women face their own physical challenges when trying to lose weight — and then factors like age, family obligations and everyday stressors can all come into play, as well. But women are strong and resilient, too, which means these obstacles are no match for a woman who's set on overcoming them.
Those qualities are definitely on display in these weight-loss success stories — from Rachel Nipper, who lost 70 pounds at age 49, to Rachel Sharp, who credits her incredible 108-pound weight loss to alternate-day fasting — and show what women can achieve when they set goals and stick with them.
Get inspired by women who have successfully lost weight and gotten healthy.
Men's Weight-Loss Success Stories
Every guy (every person!) is different, and there's no one "right" way for men to lose weight. What works for one person may not work for another.
With that in mind, we tapped men with inspiring weight-loss stories to share their successes and the step-by-step plans they followed to drop to a healthy size.
For Jeffrey Hadley, cutting processed foods and walking every day were the two key factors that helped him lose 100 pounds in a year. For Daniel Johns, shedding 60 pounds was possible after he adopted intermittent fasting and a running routine.
Check out our roundup of guys' weight-loss stories told by the motivational men themselves.
Postpartum Weight-Loss Stories
Women face a lot of social expectations when it comes to their weight, but that pressure can become even more hyper-focused after pregnancy.
Between tabloid headlines praising celebrity moms for "bouncing back after baby" and the seemingly endless stream of Instagram influencers showing off six packs mere moments after giving birth, it can be hard to keep a realistic perspective on postpartum weight loss.
That's why we asked moms to share their stories, struggles and all. Maranda Boiter overcame years of unhealthy eating habits to lose 100 pounds after pregnancy, and Lauren Mead dropped more than 200 pounds despite a host of health challenges. They didn't lose the weight overnight, but they're proof of just what can be accomplished when you make small, healthy changes.
Learn how these moms got fit after pregnancy in order to stay healthy and strong for their little ones.
Fitness-Focused Weight-Loss Stories
There's no question that nutrition is crucial when it comes to losing weight. Nailing down a sustainable weight-loss diet that works with your lifestyle is key to success.
But for some people, finding an exercise regimen they love is also central to dropping pounds and — just as importantly — keeping them off.
That may be easier said than done, though, especially if you're a complete newbie when it comes to working out. But we have proof it's possible: Take Kerri Hwang, who went from barely being able to walk around the block to deadlifting 300 pounds.
Meet people who had never exercised before and learn how they found their ideal workouts for weight loss and lifelong health.
Weight-Loss Surgery Success Stories
Anyone who says bariatric surgery is the "easy way out" when it comes to losing weight clearly hasn't had any experience with it. Weight-loss surgery is both mentally and physically challenging, and, as anyone who's been through it will attest, isn't a decision to be taken lightly.
But for those who qualify and commit to the process — and embrace the lifestyle changes that come along with it — bariatric surgery can be a life-altering tool. Not only can it help with weight loss, but it can be a springboard into a totally new and healthier way of living.
"Extreme weight loss seemed so unreachable. I'd see people with their transformations and think, 'That could never be me,'" says Tina Minasyan, who lost 171 pounds after gastric sleeve surgery. "Don't ever compare someone else's highlight reel to your behind-the-scenes. Everybody struggles, it's hard work — but boy is it sweet at the end."
Read about what it's like — and the strength it takes — to undergo gastric sleeve and gastric bypass procedures in these inspiring weight-loss surgery success stories.