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LIVESTRONG.COM Helped Elizabeth C. Lose 15 More Pounds — A Total of 78 Pounds!

By KELLY PLOWE

LIVESTRONG.COM Member since: December 7, 2008

STATS:
Age: 50
Height: 5 feet 9 inches

Before Measurements
Weight: 211 pounds
Dress/Pant Size: 1x to 2x
Waist: 43

After Measurements (December 2014)
Weight: 148 pounds
Dress/Pant Size: 8
Waist: 29

After Measurements (Summer 2015)
Weight: 133 pounds
Dress/Pant Size: 8
Waist: 27

ElizabethC
Elizabeth C. and Priscilla Bragg 

1. How did you lose the additional weight since we last featured your Success Story in November 2014?
I’ve lost about 15 pounds since November but more importantly, I’ve been able to shape and tone my body by concentrating on workouts. I do a lot of cross training with a personal trainer in my town, focusing on resistance. So, it’s squats, lunges, TRX, lots and lots of ab work and free weights, exercise and medicine balls. I’ve also continued to cycle regularly, started a running program and taken up boxing. In addition, I’ve been doing Livestrong workouts, like the 30-day ab challenge. Those exercises along with diet advice on the website, have helped me get more lean and toned. Even though my weight-loss has plateaued in recent months, I’m down a couple of clothes sizes, my waist is more narrow and I look great.

2. Have you reached your goal or maintenance weight? If so, how are you maintaining?
I’m not really concerned about my weight goal anymore. Originally, it was to get to about 135, but now I’m just interested in shaping and toning. I want to get as fit as I can now. What I’ve really discovered about eating is to eat what you need to fuel your activities. So if I’m going to be sitting at a desk all day, I won’t eat as much but when I’m planning a big bike ride or workout, I know I can eat a little more. I’ve found that the food that I used to eat for comfort or out of boredom don’t taste as good to me anymore. I know I can eat pretty much anything I want but certain foods — ice cream, creams, pasta in heavy sauces and other carbs — don’t have the same appeal as they used to have for me. I prefer eating “cleaner” — that is fresh and sauteed veggies (in olive oil), eggs, fruits, beans and complex carbs like brown rice.

3. Did discover a new diet or fitness routine that helped to take off those extra pounds?
From the beginning, I started out with the goal of changing my whole program. I was having a lot of stomach problems and didn’t feel well physically or emotionally. The diet came first — confirming a recent article in the New York Times that it’s dieting that helps weight loss not exercise (which improves your overall health in many other ways). But I did not just want to diet per se, I wanted to change the whole way I was approaching eating. Websites like Livestrong helped me understand food and eating and the whole idea of dieting. But I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the exercise. Because while dieting helped and continues to help me lose weight and keep it off, it’s the exercise that really made the most changes in my physical appearance. It’s amazing to discover at my age that you can actually change how you look for the better.

4. What key behaviors do you still follow that you believe has made your continued weight loss successful?
If you’re going to diet, you have to incorporate healthy eating into your life in a way that makes it permanent. Depriving yourself of certain types of foods without replacing them with good habits won’t work in the long run. My proudest accomplishment is not just losing the weight but keeping it off. It will be 5 years next month since I stood in front of the mirror and took a photo of myself and started on this journey. I have yet to gain back any of the fat that I took off those first few weeks. So, to me the single most important thing for me was making lifestyle changes in a way that was easy to stick with — for me it’s the morning fruit and rice protein shake, eating meals at regular times during the day and taking on new things in small doses so I wouldn’t get frustrated. There’s a great reward in putting the scale away and judging your progress by how your clothes fit or new muscle tone in your arms and legs. When you see it, you can’t help but dedicate yourself to that next tough workout in hopes that you can make even more progress.

5. Did you hit any plateaus along the way? If so, how’d you push through?
The biggest plateau for me was hitting a weight-loss number and not being able to lose weight for months. But when I discovered that I was gaining muscle and muscle tone, I stopped worrying about the numbers. That encouraged me to keep working harder although I was able to consult some good information on the Livestrong website on how to eat for workouts that help you shed extra pounds. Eventually, the weight started coming off again, naturally and organically. I’ve now lost 16 inches total off my waist. I used to hate my body, especially my legs which are very long but I felt were not shapely. Now I wear size 8 knee-length dresses and high-heels to show off those long legs. I’m proud of how I look and I feel amazing — no more stomach aches, no more breathing hard going up stairs and no more knee and back pain getting up off the couch. If I knew I would feel and look this good at my age, I would have started this program a long time ago. If I can do this, so can you.

Elizabeth's Top 3 Tips to Losing Weight and Keeping it Off

1. Just get started. It's never too late to lose the weight. If I knew I would feel and look this good at my age, I would have started this program a long time ago. A year from now, you'll look back and wish you had started today. Just start with one small change.

2. Diet is key but exercise is important too. It's crucial to eat well - whole foods like vegetables, whole grains, eggs and fruits - if you want to get results but all of the training is what will change your body - add muscle, tone and give shape - to your body along with just improving your overall health.

3. Don't focus just on weight. Keeping track of your weight is helpful but don't let it discourage you if it's not declining at the rate that you'd like. You can hit weight plateaus but you may still be losing inches (and putting on muscle). It's also helpful to take pictures of yourself so you can see how your body is changing visibly and/or take measurements.

Readers – Click here to read Elizabeth’s original success story and learn how she lost the first 63 pounds.

Kelly Plowe, M.S., RD, CSSD is a LIVESTRONG.COM editor, nutritionist and food and health communications specialist. As a registered dietitian and certified Sports Nutritionist, 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. Kelly lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their bulldog, Sunny. She's 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 concerts.

 

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