Real Weight Loss Success Stories: I Lost 70 Pounds And Changed My Fate

Determined not to end up like her dad, Maureen Harris overhauled her eating habits–and her life.


Age: 48     Height: 5’2″     Weight then: 185     Weight now: 115     Pounds lost: 70

My story

In 1990, I went on a bike ride with my husband and found myself doubled over with deep abdominal pain that wouldn’t go away. It was such a mystery: I was in great shape. After a frustrating year, a specialist finally diagnosed severe endometriosis: Blood-filled cysts and excess uterine tissue covered my reproductive organs. Four surgeries later, the growths were gone, but the scar tissue left me infertile. The pain of knowing I could never bear children combined with the physical discomfort was overwhelming. Although I had amazing support from my husband, it was hard to motivate myself to get ready in the morning, and I rarely left the house. I eventually had to quit my job as an esthetician. Within 3 years, I gained close to 75 pounds. The doctor said flat out that my blood pressure and cholesterol were off the charts and I’d die young if I didn’t make changes.

A family affair

I felt powerless: My dad died of heart disease at age 52, and my brother had a triple bypass at 48–I was simply falling in line with my family history. Then in early 2006, 16 years after I should’ve taken action, I saw a picture of myself and something finally clicked. I looked so large and unhappy–like someone I didn’t even recognize. For the first time I clearly saw what I’d done to myself and realized I could choose not to let the fate of my relatives become my own. Three days later, I signed up for NutriSystem, a low-glycemic plan based on foods that don’t spike blood sugar.

I lost 25 pounds in 2 months eating the program’s prepackaged foods. I feared what would happen when I had to make my own meals, so I started printing out lists of low-glycemic foods and recipes from people I met on the plan’s message boards.

That’s how I became friends with fellow dieter Karen Glynn. Karen motivated me to exercise, while I encouraged her to resist cravings. When I bought a treadmill, she’d send me notes like, “Did you do your 30 minutes today?” And I’d e-mail her about good-for-you items I spotted at the store. She even thought of me while she was on vacation; she mailed me a wind-up doll that runs on the treadmill! I credit so much of my happiness now to her support. Even though we’ve known each other less than a year, we’ve formed a friendship that will last a lifetime–and what a long, healthy life it will be!

How I did it

I ate fewer…white carbs. I always loved bread. Give me the breadbasket, and I was a happy girl.

I ate more…whole grains and veggies. At restaurants, I asked to swap fries or chips with vegetables. And I bought whole wheat bread or pasta at the store.

I exercised…on my treadmill for 30 to 45 minutes, 4 or 5 days a week. I recorded my favorite TV shows and saved them to watch during my workout.

My mantra was…”I can choose.” My whole life changed once I realized that I controlled my eating decisions. Instead of having pie at Easter this year, I asked for strawberries with fat-free half-and-half. I felt truly empowered.

Unexpected gain: A new career path. This fall, I hope to return to school to become a registered dietitian. I want to help other people–especially my brother and sisters–live longer, healthier lives.

My health bonus: My cholesterol dropped 66 points–now it’s well within the healthy range!

Source: Prevention

Post Views:575Related

Within 3 years, I gained close to 75 pounds. The doctor said flat out that my blood pressure and cholesterol were off the charts and I'd die young if I didn't make changes. See my before and after weight loss pictures, and read amazing weight loss success stories from real women and their best weight loss diet plans and programs. Motivation to lose weight with walking and inspiration from before and after weightloss pics and photos.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *