A family health scare got me moving


Tamera's challenge

"I've always struggled with my weight, but the problem definitely got worse in college," says Tamera Catto, who snacked her way to an extra 20 pounds while in school. Tamera continued to gain weight after she got married and gave birth to three children; in just 10 years she'd added 120 more pounds to her frame. "I was eating poorly and not moving enough. I'd use the kids as an excuse not to exercise. One day I woke up and realized I was 31 years old, 286 pounds, and miserable."

Diet tip: My turning point

"In 2003, my sister was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma," says Tamera. "Although she's in remission now, I may be needed as a stem cell donor in the future. That was the push I needed to start improving my lifestyle and get healthy."

Diet tip: My slim-down plan

Tamera's first step toward a fitter physique began at home. "I stepped on the treadmill that had been collecting dust and started walking for half an hour, two times a week, then bumped it up to four. To mix things up, I'd sweat it out to an old aerobics VHS tape," she says. But it was at Weight Watchers that she learned about portion control- and how to tame emotional eating by listening to her body. After losing the first 50 pounds, Tamera invested in a gym membership. "The dance and strength classes were so motivating, I went nearly every day-and the remaining weight just melted off "

Diet tip: My Life Now

"I'm almost half the size I was before," says Tamera. "Women at church ask me for fitness advice-and even my daughter has started lifting weights."

There are five things Tamera changed in her life that really helped her achieve lasting weight loss success. See what worked for Tamera-her diet tips may work for you too!