Julie Wilson lost and gained the same pounds for years. Finally, she decided to take a new approach. One night she made a quiet vow to her young daughter, asked for strength from God and then took baby steps toward her goal. After losing 100 pounds, now Julie is helping others.
More from Julie in her own words –
What habits specifically led you to gain weight? I always ate very fast and my portions were out of control. I didn’t know how to eat “one” of anything. While I have always loved vegetables, they were few and far between. I remember coming home after middle school and eating a box of macaroni and cheese for a snack along with two hot dogs. Then, I would eat dinner.
I was an athlete in middle school and high school, playing basketball, soccer, and throwing shot put – so I justified my eating. In high school, I got a job at McDonald’s where I worked for 5 years and gained 80 lbs.
What caused you to realize you needed to change? On December 12, 2023, I looked at my newborn daughter and promised her I would be an example for her. I had to do this for good.
How did you lose the weight? I started by tracking my food on My Fitness Pal. As time went on, I realized I needed to change the types of food I was eating. I ate smaller portions, drank more water, and started exercising.
What diet and exercise methods did you employ? I started my journey differently than my previous attempts. I vowed to keep my faith in God and trust him for strength. I tracked my food, pushed the baby in the stroller, did Taebo videos at home, and found a love for running. After losing 80 pounds, I joined a gym.
Posted on November 23, 2022 by Dani Stone
After her divorce, Samantha Hillis was suddenly thrown into the role of single mother. After taking control of her lifestyle, she lost an amazing 80 pounds. Samantha is proud to lead by example and she’s now enjoying activities with her young son that she never thought would be possible.
More from Samantha in her own words –
Tell me when your weight struggles began. I have always been overweight. Growing up I was the only overweight person in my family. I had tried to lose weight many times with pills and meal replacements, but I didn’t change my diet so nothing seemed to work.
What habits specifically led you to gain weight? When I got pregnant I gained 80 pounds! I went from staying between 200 and 210 to 280. After having my son I lost about 50 pounds, but my diet still wasn’t on point. I ate fast food every day, and when I did cook at home we would eat fried foods or a ton of pasta. I would rather sit on the couch and watch the Food Network than go for a walk.
What caused you to realize you needed to change? Nothing ever fit right, and I was never able to share clothes with friends or my sisters. I hated going shopping because I didn’t want to believe that I was in a size 18/20. When I got divorced last year I went to the doctor. I almost cried when I saw the number 248 flashing on the scale in front of me. I had gained 15 pounds in ONE month. That’s when I knew I needed to get healthy for my son.
Posted on November 9, 2022 by Dani Stone
After years of looking for the weight loss “quick fix,” Ginnie Wade realized there was no shortcut, just hard work. Instead of joining an expensive gym or eating pricey organic food, her journey to a healthier life started with a ten dollar DVD. Now, 55 pounds lighter, Ginnie says she’s learned a lot and “really enjoyed the journey – mostly.”
Tell me when your weight struggles began. I started to put on weight when I was working as a dog groomer in my early 20’s. I didn’t get much exercise and would go home exhausted and eat whatever I could find or stop and get fast food. Then I had my first child and gained about 60 pounds. I stayed home with her and found myself around food all day. When I was bored, I would eat.
I was able to lose most of the weight at a local gym, but not long after I got to my goal weight, I started putting the weight back on. I only changed temporary things and went right back to my old lifestyle.
What caused you to realize you needed to change? One day my sister and I went shopping for a dress and nothing fit. I couldn’t understand why. That day my sister gave me painful but needed advice, “You’re fat and you need to do something about it.” I had been hearing the same thing from my doctor. After hearing it from my sister I knew I finally needed to make some changes.
How did you lose the weight? I purchased a 9.99 fitness DVD at Walmart. Even though the DVD had been there collecting dust for a year, I brushed it off and popped it in the VCR. I started slow and did what I could, aiming for three days a week. I downloaded the MyFitnessPal app on my phone. That helped me stay on track eating real food.
Posted on October 5, 2022 by Dani Stone
“I’m in tears knowing that I will get a chance to encourage more people. It is my heart’s desire to help make people realize their potential, overcome fear and reach their goals.” This is the reply we received from Jessica Rogers when we told her she would be featured on our True Weight Loss segment. After losing 110 pounds, Jessica is on a mission to tell others, “It’s all about your mindset.”
One night realized I was literally eating myself to death
When Jessica was a teenager, a lack of exercise, eating a poor diet and yo-yo dieting all contributed to her weight gain. But in times of clarity, she knew that it was the way she ate, that was often the biggest problem. Even in her adult years, Jessica admits that she would often eat until she became physically ill. One day, she had a startling thought, “If I don’t make a change for the better I won’t live long enough to see my children grow.”
How she lost 35 pounds in two months
Once Jessica got herself in the right mindset, she started a two-fold approach to losing weight. She joined a commercial weight loss program to help track calories, then she bought the DVD, Walk Away the Pounds and committed to it faithfully. After losing 35 pounds in two months by utilizing these two methods, she knew she was on the right track.
Posted on June 21, 2022 by Dani Stone
Michael Kenney is a father of two, and Daddy Mike is cut! It’s hard to believe that 90 pounds ago, he was pre-diabetic and experiencing crippling migraines. With hard work, miles of spinning under his smaller belt, and tracking portion sizes, Mike says he feels better than he has in years. This Father’s Day, he’ll celebrate with daughters Jamie and Jordan, and continue to set a healthy example for his girls.
We love his mantra: Eat clean and train dirty.
More from Mike in his own words –
When did your weight struggles begin? I have always struggled with my weight. I played sports in high school, and this kept it under control but after I stopped playing sports, over the years my weight just kept increasing.
What habits specifically led you to gain weight? Definitely overeating. Portion sizes played a huge factor. It was not unusual for me to eat a whole pizza by myself. I really didn’t know how many calories I was consuming, or how many I was burning.
What caused you to realize you needed to change? Health issues. I had a routine checkup with my doctor and when my blood work came back, I was pre-diabetic. I was also suffering from frequent ocular migraines.
Posted on June 14, 2022 by Dani Stone
Our pals at Shape.com recently spotlighted an awesome, soon-to-be-released app that I am so excited about: Ceres, which should be on the market soon, is for people who like the idea of food journaling, but don’t necessarily like the idea of journaling. How does it work? Ceres will allow users who take a picture of their food to receive an approximate calorie count. No more scribbling in a pocket sized notebook , looking through online tables for calorie counts, or scanning a bar-code to find the exact protein bar you’re munching in. I don’t really understand how this will work—I doubt a room full of RDs analyzes each photo—but I love the simplicity!
Bonus: Ceres is being worked on by the same techs behind Siri—which I hope means the app will be sassy! (more…)
Posted on May 5, 2023 by Jessica Tholmer
If you’re a parent you know the feeling of wanting more for your children, greater happiness, more friendships, a better education, etc. That feeling of devotion was especially true for Amanda Gosik, a mother of three from Missouri. Though she had been heavy all of her life, she didn’t get serious about weight loss until a doctor told her that her 3-year-old was considered obese. That was Amanda’s wakeup call.
“That was the sign I needed to get serious and make some changes or my family would suffer,” admitted Amanda. After losing an astonishing 175 pounds, she’s truly leading by example.
More from Amanda in her own words:
When did your weight struggles begin? “I have always been large aside from early childhood. My first and second grade pictures are tiny and then by third grade I was noticeably overweight. My 6th grade year I wore a size 20 pants. I battled to lose during my teens and early 20’s and nothing changed.”
What habits specifically led you to gain weight? “Eating my feelings were a big part of it, I’m sure. Growing up in a house where takeout happened all the time and ‘cooked’ meals were fried or TV dinners didn’t help either.”
Posted on April 26, 2023 by Dani Stone
Every year, top Silicon Valley technology blogs host the Crunchies awards, an industry award for up and coming companies who are leaders and innovators in their space.
On Monday, February 10th, the winner and runner-up were announced. One Medical Group took the top spot, with Oscar getting the honorable mention. For this post, we’ll take a quick look at each of the finalists and what they bring to the health and fitness scene from a tech perspective.
This year, the finalists in the “Best Health Startups” category were these five organizations.
One Medical Group (winner)
The New York Times calls OMG “a new model for primary care that aims to set a nationwide example.” With offices in six cities (San Francisco, New York, Washington D.C., Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles, this startup was formed by a group of doctors who listened to their patients and built a totally new medial group designed specifically to meet your needs.
Posted on February 13, 2023 by Mike Beauchamp
Is gaining weight back after losing it inevitable? According to some experts, the answer may be yes. A study from Colorado State University Extension proposed that an estimated 50 million Americans go on a diet each year and only 5 percent manage to keep the weight off.
Researchers studying these trends, including Dr. George L. Blackburn of the Federal Trade Commission, speculate that where weight loss programs fail is the promise for quick results and failure to communicate the importance of forming long-term healthy habits such as reducing calorie intake and increasing physical activity.
Other proof that diets aren’t the answer? Research shows that Americans tend to gain between .4 and 1.8 pounds every year. While that may not sound drastic, in reality it means that a 20-year old who weighs 130 pounds might weigh 148 by the time they reach 30, and 166 pounds by age 40!
These grim figures may be tied to the fact that most people gain back two-thirds of the weight lost in their first year after a diet program and 100 percent of their weight lost in five years (according to a 1997 FTC report).
So what can we do to lose weight and, more importantly, keep it off? According to recent research we reported on earlier this week, Michaela Kiernan, PhD. and her team at Stanford University School of Medicine, focusing on weight loss instead of a lifetime of maintaining a healthy weight may be a dangerous trap. (more…)
Posted on November 2, 2022 by Dana
For sisters Brianne Canepa – a 32-year-old paramedic and quality manager for Kaiser Permanente – and Cara Garcia – a 31-year-old communications specialist at Stanford Life Flight – weight loss has been a joint effort. In the last year the pair has managed to drop more than 200 pounds together, and it all started with a life-changing visit to the Biggest Loser Resort in Malibu, California.
At their heaviest, Brianne weighed 361 pounds and Cara, 308 pounds. However, it’s a totally different story now ever since the sisters embarked on a weight loss journey that transformed their health and their lives for the better. Today, Brianne weighs 258 pounds and Cara, 197, which is a combined weight loss of an amazing 214 pounds.
In the process of shrinking down together, these sisters have not only kept each other motivated but also bonded and became even closer friends than they were before. To tell this inspiring story, we’ve asked Cara and Brianne to share about their journeys in their own words starting with where it all began: The gain.
left to right: Cara and Brianne, respectively.
When did your individual struggles with weight begin?
Cara: I was a skinny mini most of my childhood and through high school. Wearing size 12 was the biggest size I wore. I was very active and could pretty much eat anything I wanted to. In 2000, I left home and lived in the dorm at San Jose State University. It was my first experience making my own schedule, my own food choices and none of it was good. I was eating crappy food and taking naps between classes. I think I went to the gym once that whole first year. The freshman 30 turned into 10 years and more than 100 pounds. (more…)
Posted on October 17, 2022 by Dana
Hollywood’s sappiest love stories begin with two beautiful, hot-bodied actors running toward each other on the beach. Romance sparks when they accidentally bump into each other while not paying attention to where they’re going and then, as they say, the rest is history: marriage, pets, 2.5 kids and a white picket fence ensue.
But the type of love stories we prefer to tell are the ones that play out in real life, like the one between Zach and Kathryn Bohannon from Nashville, Tennessee, who, earlier this year, started a dedicated journey to health and have since collectively lost more than 160 pounds. And the best part about it? Once they reach their respective goal weights they’re going to get remarried and take new wedding photos to celebrate their new, happier, healthier selves. Now that’s the kind of romance I think the world should know about.
This true weight loss story focuses first on Zach, 28, who had been overweight his whole life, mostly due to the fact that he was an extremely picky eater as a child which made it extremely hard for his parents to get much healthy food on his plate. (more…)
Posted on July 27, 2022 by Dana