By June DeMelo
Updated: December 02, 2017

Weight Loss Success Stories: Missy's Challenge

Although Missy's mom prepared nutritious meals, she didn't insist her children eat them. "My sister and I would often grab fast food, and our dad took us out for ice cream every night," says Missy. She ultimately reached 150 pounds in high school. "I had horrible self- esteem," she says. "I still remember how embarrassed I felt when I couldn't share my friends' clothes."

Diet Tip: Preventing the Freshman 15

As her senior year neared, Missy's classmates started talking about the freshman 15. "I was already so unhappy with my weight, the thought of gaining 15 more pounds frightened me," she says. "I didn't want to go through another four years of hating my body."

Diet Tip: Slimming-Down at My Own Speed

Missy started making veggie-packed salads with beans or tofu for dinner. Soon, her sister convinced her to join a gym. "At first I barely lasted 20 minutes on the elliptical, but I kept tacking on more time," says Missy. By the end of that summer, she had dropped 10 pounds. When Missy got to college, she joined a gym and added body sculpting and cardio classes. By spring she was another 25 pounds lighter.

Diet Tip: Maintain the Right Emotions

"In the past, it seemed like being heavy was all I thought about," says Missy. "Keeping the weight off is definitely hard, but it's nowhere near as emotionally exhausting as being overweight was."

Missy's Stick-With-It Secrets

1. Share your meals "I take photos of everything I eat for my blog, missymaintains.com. Posting pictures of all my meals and snacks keeps me accountable."

2. Think before you drink "I stick to light beer or vodka and soda. Sugary cocktails can have more calories than a slice of pepperoni and sausage pizza!"

3. Buddy up "A few days a week, I work out with my sister. I'm much less likely to skip out than I would be if I went alone."

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