I used to be shy and withdrawn. I didn’t put myself out there because I didn’t feel good about myself. I’ve changed so much I’m happier, more confident to meeting new people and like a new person.
THE COMPARISON TRAP
I grew up as the fat girl in a family of thin people. My parents, my brother and both my sisters have always been on the thin side. And then there was me. It was never fun or easy being compared to my sisters, but people did it all the time. I often felt judged and unattractive. A guy I worked with once asked me why I was so fat when my sister was thin. He speculated that I “sure must eat a lot.” People can be incredibly brutal and insensitive.
When I complained to my doctor about how much my knees hurt, he told me I was overweight and that losing 40 pounds would make a world of difference. I was a little insulted, but I knew in my heart he was right. When you’re carrying an extra 40 pounds, you don’t realize how much added pressure it puts on your back, legs, knees and feet.*
SUCCESS, AND THEN SOME
When I started the Lean for Life program, my original goal was to lose 30 pounds. But once I started losing and got into the groove, I allowed myself to dream bigger and to be honest about what I really, truly wanted for myself. I ended up exceeding my goal by nearly 50 percent.*
I work as a sales associate for a major department store, so I’m always on my feet. Before I lost weight, I often had knee pain from standing so long. I didn’t move any more than I had to. But after I began the Lean for Life program, I made a conscious effort to start moving more at work. These days, I’m never in one place too long. A lot of people think being active means running or biking for an hour, but it can also mean just walking at work, taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking in the first spot you see rather than circling for a closer space. A little movement here, a little movement there. Over time, it adds up to more calories burned and more pounds lost.*
Not long ago, I ran into the guy who asked me why I was so fat and my sister was thin. As I was walking by, he called out my sister’s name. He mistook me for the sister he once compared me to! While I lost the weight for myself, I have to admit the look on his face when he realized his mistake was icing on the cake—and a great reminder of just how far I’ve come.*
*Individual results may vary.
My official job title is “Mom to many.” I have four kids between the ages of 12 and 17, so I’m a womanin constant motion.
I was wearing a size 18. Today, I wear a size 6.*
I wasn’t very active before I lost weight. I played an occasional game of tennis or round of golf. The idea of competing in Ironman triathlons never crossed my mind—but life is full of surprises. People tell me I seem like a different person these days, and they’re right. I feel like a different person—and I really like her!
I lost 50 pounds in five months—and I’ve kept it off for five years! I will be Lean for Life for the rest of my life.*
MY “AHA MOMENT”
Back when I was at my heaviest weight, I showed a new skirt to my mom and said, “Isn’t this a cute little skirt?” She said, “There’s nothing little about that skirt!” Ouch!
HUNGRY FOR A CHANGE
Before I lost weight, I had been dieting since I was seven years old. I tried every program and every magazine diet known to man. When I started the Lean for Life program, I was at the end of my rope. But I was also ready to give it 100 percent because it just made sense to me, and I had a feeling it would work. It was easy to follow, and I was never, ever hungry.*
Once I started losing weight, I realized how much I enjoyed physical activity. I started training for an Ironman Triathlon in China, which at first seemed like an impossible goal. But I did it! When I crossed the finish line in 15 hours and 28 minutes, I was euphoric. I finished sixth in my age category. It was the most phenomenal feeling. I’ve since completed two more—one in Mexico and another in Texas—and I’m in training for another in Lake Tahoe. When I think of everything I’ve accomplished since I’ve lost weight, I’m totally amazed.*
DO SOMETHING, DO ANYTHING
When it comes to exercise, I believe it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you do something. The secret is finding something you love doing and doing it consistently.
My asthma has improved so much since I lost weight. It feels like a weight has been literally lifted off me, which I guess is what happened. I used to have to use my inhaler a couple of times a day. These days, I can go a year without needing it.*
*Individual results may vary.
Can’t Lose Weight During the Holidays? Diana Did!*
OCCUPATION Elementary School Teacher
TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS 45 pounds*
CURRENT WEIGHT 125 pounds
STARTING DRESS SIZE 12/14
CURRENT DRESS SIZE 4/6*
THRIVING THROUGH THE HOLIDAYS I did my Lean for Life program during what many consider the toughest time of the year. Don’t let anyone ever convince you that you can’t lose weight during the holidays. I know it’s possible—because I did it!*
MOTIVATION MATTERS When I decided to lose weight, I was at my highest weight ever. I weighed more than I did when I was pregnant! I felt sluggish, tired and depressed about how I felt and how I looked. I just wanted to hide. My birthday is in November, and when I realized I no longer fit in my jeans and was going to have to go up a size, that did it for me. I was done. My birthday gift to myself was to make a change—and that’s what I did! I joined Lindora.*
NO MORE EXCUSES Before I started to lose weight, I blamed my weight on my age and my hormones. It’s so easy to make excuses and to rationalize, but I know from experience that it rarely leads to anything good. Now that I look and feel so much better, no excuses are necessary!*
MORE THAN A DIET It didn’t take me long to realize that the Lean for Life program was much more than a diet. For me, it represented a healthy new way of eating and thinking about food. The structure of the program held me accountable for my weight loss, and the team at Lindora truly cared about me. They helped me understand what was going on inside my body and taught me how to take control of it.
RAPID RESULTS No other program I’ve ever done has helped me be so successful in so little time. I’m happy, I have more energy, and I feel good about myself. I like what I eat and I never feel hungry or deprived.*
FEELING FABULOUS I’m loving the new “thin” me! I feel so much better about myself and all the compliments I receive are a great reminder that I really do look better and I’ve accomplished something valuable. My teenaged sons tell me how beautiful I look and my husband tells me how “hot” I am. It makes me feel incredibly awesome and proud of myself.*
LESSON LEARNED I was a yo-yo dieter for many years, losing and regaining the same 30-plus pounds more times than I care to remember. But with the Lean for Life program, I learned the value and importance of integrating my new, healthy habits into my life. It’s truly a lifestyle change. I’ve come to understand that I can’t go back to my old ways of eating and expect to maintain my weight loss.*
*Individual results may vary.
Shanna Celebrates Success on TV’s “The Doctors”
OCCUPATION Mortgage Operations Analyst
TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS 120 pounds*
CURRENT WEIGHT 149
READY FOR HER CLOSE-UP In September, I was a guest on the national daytime TV show, “The Doctors.” Before I came on stage, they showed a video about what my life was like at 269 pounds. It was very emotional because they compressed years of pain and frustration into a one-minute recap of my life. The video focused on how I weighed 140 pounds by fifth grade and how self-conscious I felt being the biggest girl on my high school drill team. It talked about how I had allowed food to become my boyfriend and how isolated I’d become.*
Watching the video was painful, but it was also a powerful reminder of just how far I’ve come. When I made my big entrance, the entire studio audience gave me a standing ovation. I looked into the audience and saw both of my parents crying. It was an unforgettable moment and an amazing validation of what I’ve accomplished.
THEN AND NOW When I weighed 269 pounds, I had very little desire to do much of anything. I just sort of hid from the world and rarely left my house. Now that I’ve lost weight and am feeling so much better about how I look and feel, life feels very different. My self-consciousness has been replaced with self-confidence.*
NEW ATTITUDE I knew they day I started the Lean for Life program that I would be successful. The structure, support and accountability helped me stay motivated and focused. The program eliminated so many of the obstacles that got in the way of my previous weight loss efforts. I was eager to step on the scale every day because I knew I had earned my weight loss!*
HIDDEN BENEFITS The Lean for Life program taught me much more than how to lose weight. It taught me the value of consistency and the power of honoring the commitments and agreements I make with myself. It taught me that with patience, focus and determination, I can overcome anything.
REFLECTED GLORY Even when I was a big girl, I loved fashion. But when I was a size 18, I hate shopping because nothing ever looked good on me. Now that I’m a size 4, my choices are unlimited. I love clothes shopping—and I actually love seeing my reflection in the mirror. Now I can look in the mirror, tell myself I’m beautiful, and really believe it.*
PAYING IT FORWARD I want to inspire other young women to believe in themselves enough to take the first step. I remember not being able to sleep because I kept thinking about how much of life I was missing out on. I was living a much smaller life because of my weight and how it made me feel about myself. If sharing my story can inspire one girl or woman to believe in herself, it would make me even happier than I already am.
*Individual results may vary.