I'm starting something new -- spotlighting some pals who have lost weight. Perhaps their stories will give us all a little extra motivation. First up is my friend, Robin. We used to work together in California. (Robin mentions two weight-loss programs: Nutrisystem and Medifast. You can learn more about Nutrisystem in Carol's and Laura's reviews. You can read women's reviews of Medifast at www.weightlosstriumph.com.)
Robin, 50, senior editor at the American Heart Association, Texas
How much did you lose? 80 pounds (7 pounds below my initial goal).
How long did it take? A little more than a year, but I've gained and relost a few pounds twice since then.
How did you do it with food? I lost the initial weight with the Medifast program and kept it off about two years. When I saw that I had gained enough to be 6 pounds over my initial goal, I turned to Nutrisystem to jump-start things, then switched to my own food and a BodyBugg after a few months.
How did you do it with exercise? I was a total couch potato until the last few months on Medifast, and then I started walking on a treadmill and doing some DVD workouts (Slim in 6, Leslie Sansone's Walk Away the Pounds series, etc.). A couple of years ago, I started running on the treadmill, and then progressed to running regularly outside. I've completed two half marathons (using a run-walk-run method) and am registered for two more.
Biggest motivation: I thought it was looking better, but I later realized that it was really a family member's health problems.
Words of wisdom: Stay vigilant, and no matter what else happens, keep at least a few of your new habits (the ones I've never abandoned are exercise, eating every few hours, filling up on vegetables and including protein at every meal). Also, find new outlets for stress and emotions, to avoid emotional eating. Call a friend, go for a run, spend a day on the couch ... whatever it takes.