From well-deserved makeovers to love-related treats, we salute these weight-loss superheroes!
1 of 8All photos
"I've lost more than 100 pounds and have kept it off for more than eight years. I had many ways to celebrate the success along the way: new clothes every 20 pounds or so, getting my nails done, joining a gym. But probably the best 'treat' I gave myself was my husband!
I joined Match.com shortly after the weight loss, where I had a ton of fun dating and eventually met my now-husband, Mark. We'll celebrate our five-year anniversary in April and I've never been happier."
A Wardrobe and Career Makeover
2 of 8All photos
"In 2009, when I lost 17 pounds from switching my diet away from foods that I was sensitive to and were causing me to swell, I celebrated by buying myself a new wardrobe to fit the new me! I went from a 6/8 to a size 2 in jeans—I couldn't keep my old pants up! I never thought my butt could be so small. The best part was that I didn't feel deprived or hungry because I had lots of food choices and could eat the quantity I wanted of the foods that my body could handle.
I was so inspired that I got a doctorate and changed my career; now I am a holistic nutritionist and my virtual practice focuses on identifying hidden food sensitivities by using state-of-the-art testing and cutting edge dietary therapies. In the fall of 2009, my husband and I celebrated my weight loss and our 10-year anniversary by going on a romantic adults-only retreat to Cancun, and I rejoiced in a bikini—the kind I had told him I would never wear again after the second 50-pound pregnancy left me with so much extra weight."
Earning Health and Happiness
3 of 8All photos
"Stress was a huge part of why I gained weight. My coping mechanism was to eat for comfort, which just made me depressed and eat more. I was 165 pounds, tired, and miserable all the time. I felt so ugly and lethargic. I was just tired of being tired, and I also had really high blood pressure. I literally woke up one day and said enough is enough. I was desperate to lose weight and I actually researched cosmetic surgeons before I researched personal trainers.
I figured I could spend my money and take the easy road or I could earn it. I trained with Terri Walsh, who helped me realize I wanted to earn my health and happiness more. Ultimately, I lost more than 40 pounds. She changed my life and I could never thank her enough."
Reminders of Success
4 of 8All photos
"I lost more than 90 pounds and have kept the weight off 12 years (anniversary March 13, 2012). It's never a good idea to celebrate with food or alcohol! I celebrate my weight loss every month by taking a few hours for myself. It might be for a massage or some other self-care treatment, a walk at a nature reserve, or simply time at a coffee shop to journal. The point is, I mark my success and remind myself what it took to lose that much weight, and I give myself credit. This is critical, so I don't regain. I also mark my anniversaries each year in a little bit bigger way."
Continuing to Inspire
5 of 8All photos
Lisa Camuto, Genny Knopf, and Kathy Keebler celebrated their accomplishment by teaching and inspiring an entire school—parents, teachers, and students. It's become a real life lesson in what a healthy lifestyle can do.
Best of all, the story continues as we speak. The three members of the office staff at Braden River Elementary School in Bradenton, Florida challenged each other to lose weight and improve their overall health and lifestyle. The women are all in their 40s and together, they lost 146 pounds, essentially an entire person. They've even dubbed themselves The Wonderful Wrangler Weight-Loss Women of BRE after the school mascot, the Wranglers.
6 of 8All photos
"I celebrated 60 pounds of weight loss with a wedding! It all started with on online date nearly five years ago. I met George online at my heaviest of 176 pounds and at our wedding, I was 114 [pounds]. We met at 4:30 p.m. at Casa Del Mar and were still talking at 9 p.m. My favorite part was when he asked for a second date and then kissed me goodnight!
In Fiji in June 2007, after six months together, under the moonlight he asked me to join his dream and travel in Southeast Asia for one year. During our year away, I lost 60 pounds, and we got engaged underwater. After we got back, we got married where we had our first date!"
Photo by amy and stuart weddings
Lots of Rewards
7 of 8All photos
"I've lost 86 pounds in a number of different ways, including cutting out all or most carbs, going on a juice cleanse when my weight stabilized, and now I fill my diet with whole foods and grains. I'm also trying to qualify for the Boston marathon, so I do a tremendous amount of running. I celebrated my triumph in several ways: a massage after every five pounds lost (that's better than any cookie that would ever go in your mouth), by sharing photos of myself after successes on a blog, clothing donations for things that have gotten too big, and finally, I had a tummy tuck. This was my ultimate celebration."
Red Hair and an LBD
8 of 8All photos
"I lost 50 pounds in a healthy manner nearly 20 years ago (and have kept it off ever since) by making healthier food choices, embracing exercise, and replacing caffeinated drinks with large quantities of water. For me, the process was a true metamorphosis of my confidence and spirit, as well as my body. I celebrated by having my hair dyed an auburn red, a color I loved since first spying Daphne on the Scooby Doo cartoons as a kid. It was like announcing to the world, 'Look at me, I'm ready to finally be noticed.'
Following that move, I bought a new wardrobe of clothes in sizes that I never dreamed would fit. But the best part of all was how my friends helped me celebrate my 27th birthday, the first in my newly slimmer body. My best friend and a group of buddies all chipped in and presented me with a size 8 dress as my birthday present that year. It soon became too big—I'm currently a size 4/6."