Caryn (left): Before 405 lbs
Michele (right): Before 275 lbs
Caryn: I've struggled with my weight since I was 5 years old. I've tried every possible diet, and even though I often lost weight at first, I always gained it back (and then some). The diet and exercise changes I made never felt permanent, and I wasn't motivated to stick with them. I felt like I was a lost cause and destined to be obese.
In early 2010, I was just over 400 pounds. I could barely walk or breathe. I was desperate but had no idea how I could lose so much weight on my own. My daughter Michele also wanted to lose weight and encouraged me to try again. This time, she said, we could be a support system for each other.
When I lost 100 pounds, my coworkers threw me a salad bar party to celebrate. (Michele was down about 50 pounds!)
How We Did It
Michele and I signed up for Weight Watchers soon after our conversation. We followed the points program, which allowed us to keep track of everything we ate but still left room for treats. I never felt deprived, so it was easy to stick with the plan.
Once I lost 150 pounds, I walked at the mall, building up from a few minutes to a few miles. Michele and I also took Zumba classes.
Caryn: After 178 lbs
Michele: After 148 lbs
Losing weight has boosted my confidence and given me a more positive overall outlook on life. Doing it with Michele (who lost 127 pounds!) made all the difference this time. Knowing she was in it, too, kept me accountable—and we had fun!
My Stick-With-It Secret: Don't avoid eating out. Come up with a strategy instead.
My daughter and I create what we call the "garbage plate" at restaurants. As soon as our food arrives, we grab an extra plate and put everything on it that we don't want to eat (like creamy dressings or extra pieces of white bread). Moving these items to the side and making the plate look messy at the start means we're not tempted to eat it.