By Alice Oglethorpe
Updated: November 09, 2017

Weight Loss Success Stories: Erin's challenge

As a teenager, Erin was "one of the guys." She played sports with them-and ate cookies and chips like them after games. In college Erin exercised a lot less and slowly put on weight. She saw exactly how much at a post-graduation physical: The scale read 190 pounds.

Diet Tip: Facing My Truth

Erin left the doctor's office in a state of shock. "I realized my size was getting out of hand," she says. "I was worried that if I didn't do something, I'd keep gaining weight." Erin knew exercise could help, but she'd always used her constantly changing school schedule as an excuse not to plan workouts. "I'd just started a job with regular hours, though, so I knew it would be easier to find specific times to exercise," she says.

Diet Tip: Making a Date and Finding Friends

Erin made a date with a friend to meet at the gym three times a week after work. "Knowing she was waiting for me there kept me from canceling," Erin says. Together they found some cardio and sculpting classes they really liked. "I had always loved sports growing up, so it felt really good to push myself again," she says. With that boost in activity, Erin lost 20 pounds in five months. Excited about her progress, she turned her focus to food. "I had been snacking all day-before meals, after meals; you name it," Erin says. So she started asking herself how she felt whenever she got the urge to eat. "If I really was hungry, I'd have a 200- calorie snack, but if I was bored, I wouldn't allow myself to have anything," she says. "It took a conscious effort, but I scaled way back on the constant grazing." She also changed what she ate, choosing whole foods, like fruit and almonds, instead of processed fare, like candy and chips. Erin decided that, although she enjoyed the classes, she wanted more out of her workouts. "I got a trainer to help me reinvent my routine," she says. "In just five sessions, I was more toned and could lift heavier weights- I was hooked." Seven months after ramping up her physical activity, she was down 25 more pounds.

Diet Tip: Boasting My Self-Esteem

While Erin loves how her body looks, it's the newfound confidence that's surprised her the most. "Now when I enter a room, my shoulders are thrown back and my head is held high," she says. "I don't wonder what others think of me because I'm happy with myself."

Erin's Stick-With-It Secrets

1. Be an active learner "Trying new activities, like skiing and softball, keeps me from getting into a workout rut."

2. Make snacks more substantial "I make my own trail mix by combining dried fruit, nuts, and high-fiber cereal, which bulks it up without adding too many calories."

3. Dine in before you dine out "Before I go out to eat, I have an apple with almond butter. It takes the edge off my hunger, helping me resist those dinner rolls."

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