Before: 250 pounds
After: 174 pounds
Height: 5’ 8”
Overweight for most of her life, Beth Klein, 28, often succumbed to bad eating habits, like ordering pizza and Chinese takeout and late-night eating. Over the course of 8 years of failed diets, Beth’s weight had reached 250 pounds. “I used to let myself get really hungry and then I would overdo it at every meal,” the Washington, D.C., resident remembers. “I rarely cooked at home or voluntarily ate a vegetable.”
The Turning Point
In 2008, Beth’s physician asked about her weight at an annual exam. “I always brushed off my weight, so when she asked me about it I got very angry and defensive,” Beth explains. After the appointment, she reflected on the doctor’s remarks for a few months. “Ultimately, her comment forced me to take responsibility for my weight,” she says. Beth decided to make her 2009 New Year’s resolution to get healthy.
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First, Beth quit smoking and joined a gym, where she did the elliptical and weight training three to four times a week. Once she got comfortable on the elliptical, she picked up running. “I started the Couch to 5-K program, and that’s when I really started to see a difference,” Beth says. With her steadfast commitment to running, Beth has finished close to 30 races, including five half-marathons, to date.
For help with her diet, Beth joined Weight Watchers. (Search: Find Weight Watchers near me.) She began tracking her calories and cooking and eating at home. “It’s easy to pretend that you’re not eating a lot, so when I started writing it down it was eye opening,” she says. Beth also traded in the calorie-dense food she used to eat for lower calorie options. She now makes smart food swaps, like using Greek yogurt in place of sour cream, and eats more fruits and vegetables to avoid getting too hungry and overeating.
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Initially, the positive results Beth saw from her diet and exercise kept her motivated. To stay on track with her fitness routine, Beth signs up for a lot of races. “I want to do well in the races, so having them on my schedule keeps me motivated with exercise,” she says. To train for each one, she works out five to six times a week for 12 weeks, and puts in up to 12 miles on weekends.
Blogging about her journey at Bethsjourney.com also energizes Beth. “My blog is an outlet to talk about weight loss and fitness as much as I want,” Beth says. “It’s a good way to stay in the conversation and find people with similar passions to me.”
Additionally, Beth leads a Weight Watchers meeting once a week where she talks about her experience with members. “I have to get up in front of people and preach about weight loss. This keeps me engaged to maintain my weight.”
Aside from the physical transformation that came with losing 76 pounds, Beth feels more confident putting herself first. “I’m an active player in my life now,” she says. “Before I would just go with the flow, and now I make more decisions. I’m adamant about my own needs, especially when it comes to health and fitness.”
Start small. “When people try to make too many changes all at once it sets them up for failure,” Beth says. “Focus on one meal at a time. Start by overhauling your breakfast for a week, then move on to lunches and dinners. Once you see positive changes you’ll be proud of yourself.”
Find support. You’re going to have slips ups,” Beth says. “You need a support network to fall back on when you’re struggling.”
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