Weight Loss Success Stories | Testimonials | Weight Loss Strategies | Healthy Loser Reviews

Before and after david

Message from David Chatwin, Father of 6 and Founder of the $5,000 Healthy Loser Challenge.

~SAVING THE WORLD ONE POUND AT A TIME~

Over 2/3 of the population in my Country are over weight or obese. Obesity is claiming lives and seriously diminishing the quality of many. Everyone in this world is affected by this epidemic directly or through loved ones.

Ten years ago I found myself caught up in this weight gaining epidemic. I am 5’6″ and weighed almost 250 lbs. I knew what the dangers of this weight were and my Dr. warned me of my cholesterol issues and what would happen to me if I didn’t make changes. I tried for years going from one weight loss program to another trying to find what would work for me. I some how lacked the incentive even though my health should be priceless. WHAT MORE INCENTIVE COULD I NEED?

Finally, someone gave me a helping hand and created the incentive I needed. I am forever grateful and have made it my life’s mission to recreate this incentive for as many as I can to repay the debt I owe. It worked for me and will work for you.

Below is a list of some success stories and strategies of contestants who have been helped by the Healthy Loser Program even though some won little or no cash!

Healthy Loser Weight Loss Success Stories,Testimonials and Weight Loss Strategies. (Healthy Loser Reviews)

I have always struggled with my weight. This stems from a love of food that is as much about emotional satisfaction as it gastronomic curiosity. I eat, therefore, I am. So, to take on weight loss has always been counter-intuitive for me. I might be unhappy with my body image, my energy level, my ability to tie my shoes without having my big belly push against my diaphragm and cause me to breathe hard. I am going to control eating – one of the few things that gives me deep satisfaction? I have been down this road before. I do not find it hard to lose weight once I begin. Just pick a program and begin. I have done Weight Watchers, Atkins, Livestrong, the Lemonade Diet, and the Cabbage Soup Diet – they all work. All you have to do is stick with it. Ah, but that is the trick! Every single time I have lost weight it has come back – with a vengeance. So this time, I tried to see Healthy Loser as a beginning – a Jumpstart to long-term success. To do this, I identified where I went wrong in the past.   I usually go wrong when I stop weighing myself regularly.   So for Healthy Loser, I racked my weight on a Calendar almost daily.   I know this is contrary to a lot of people’s advice (and even to what I have done in the past) but I knew that after the program, I would need a habit of constantly weighing in. I would need it because I am awfully good at lying to myself about my weight. “Oh, I’ll just weigh in next week and by then I will have lost that pound I’ve gained back…” “I haven’t weighed in for a while, so I’ll work out hard and weigh in next Monday…” Little lies to justify not weighing in, when in reality I was denying that I was gaining the weight back.

Here is what I did:

I followed the Atkins’ Induction phase for the duration of the thirteen weeks. I like this as it is the only weight loss program I’ve ever used where hunger is not a factor. I ate what I wanted on Thanksgiving. I got up every morning, evacuated my bladder, and stepped on the scale – naked. I recorded this number on the calendar in my kitchen. Without fail. This was maybe the hardest part, as it was a real high to see my weight drop daily. But when it did not, it was devastating. I despaired when my weight did not go down daily – sometimes several days in a row. I reflected on what I may have to adjust. I adjusted. I exercised a lot. Cycling 20 to 70 km. Running 5- 10 km. Working out in the gym. Going for long walks with my dog. I suffered with constipation. This is an issue with Atkins. I went 10 days without a bowel movement. I reflected. I drank more water and added fibre capsules daily. I plateaued around week 9. I did a more extreme version of Atkins – The Fat Fast. I bought the Fat Fast cookbook and followed it, expecting it to be very difficult. It was actually easier than what I had been doing. The weight loss accelerated again. I lost motivation in the middle – I told myself to stay focused – that if I did win money I could use it as a partial down payment for a place in the Okanagan, where I am originally from.   This was huge for me and was my initial motivation for the Healthy Loser. My life is in New Brunswick, but I am often homesick for BC. I regained my focus.

 

I looked at my torso and saw that it was getting flat!   I kept going! I tortured my family with the details of what I was doing. They listened politely, but kept cheering me on! I lost just under 5 pound per week on average. I gained the habit of writing on the calendar after my daily weigh-in. Two months after finishing the Healthy Loser, I am still doing this – it keeps me honest, and seems to be keeping the yoyo in check. Along the way, I ran a half marathon. I didn’t plan it. I just started running and felt good so I kept going.   I feel stronger and lighter. I look better. I set a new goal. I will lose another 25 pounds by July 2015.

My advice:

Think long term. The reward money is an incredible motivator, but use it to do something big. Develop a habit that will last beyond the program – reward yourself by keeping the weight off. Tell yourself that you can. Tell yourself that you have the power to succeed – this is especially important when you are feeling down about your progress, or have suffered a setback.

 

Plan ahead with your food- stock your environment with the food that you need and have it ready. Don’t wait ‘til you are hungry. My neighbour says ” You can’t outrun a fork.” This is good advice also – no amount of exercise can compensate for too many calories. Pick a program and stick to it. Any program. See yourself differently – imagine or envision a new you. Tell yourself that you can do it.   Several times a day. Every day. (great when done looking in a mirror) You can.

Douglas Stewart  Dec. 30, 2014

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My plan was simple. I knew if I followed it I would lose a lot of weight and fast. I like to call my “the triple A plan.” (AAA).
AGUA- drink nothing but water
ATKINS- no sugar, low carbs. Lots of protein.
AEROBICS- exercise and cardio

I stuck with it and it worked!
-Carl Williams
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My strategy was to start logging all of my food, with a daily calculated goal of eating less calories than I burned. I utilized the Basis watch as a calorie/step tracker to monitor my daily calories burned as well as work to accomplish the goals the I set on the watch’s program. In addition, I joined a local workout program at P4L Fitness and attended classes/met with trainers 4-6 days a week.

Thank you!
Bari Smith
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I started the Healthy Loser contest a couple of months after the birth of my sixth and final child. I was excited to be done with the weight roller coaster of having six children in 11 years, but was finding it hard to muster up the motivation to stick to a healthy eating and exercise plan. Joining the Healthy Loser competition provided all the motivation I needed! My commitment was solid. Not that losing the weight was easy, this has been the hardest thing I have ever willingly done! However, through this whole process, every time I wanted to cheat or give up, I would remember that SOMEONE was going to win, and I wanted it to be me! Not just to ‘Win’, but to prove to myself that all those times I told myself I would get back in shape ‘after I’m done having kids’ wasn’t just wishful thinking. I love my body and am so grateful for all the children it has given me, but all the extra weight was burdensome and I hated the way I looked. Now, I feel so light and energetic! I am excited to embrace life with energy and confidence and especially to have enough energy to enjoy all these precious years I have left of raising my children.

To lose the weight, I focused on eating clean with an abundance of fruits and vegetables. I also did intermittent fasting and discovered that I LOVE to workout while fasting!

I started at 171 lbs and am now 125 lbs! 46 pounds down! I hit my pre-children and pre-marriage weight…finally!! The happiest change for me has been my waist going from 41” to 29”…it feels so good to finally wear a fitted shirt confidently without any ‘rolls’!

Lois Hassell

801-755-5058
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I had previously been a 25% loss prize winner in an earlier Healthy Loser round, but afterwards I gained back much of the weight. After the contest ended, I celebrated my success, rewarding myself with food and went overboard for the first month or two. Unfortunately I gained back nearly all of my lost weight. The only good to come from this was it served as motivation to get myself back on track by re-entering Healthy Loser again when they announced another contest round.

This time my weight loss was less dramatic; overall I lost less weight, but at a more consistent and healthier pace. I ended up averaging 4 pounds lost per week this time, compared with over 5 last time. I basically used the same strategy, but used less extreme measures and more moderation in my diet and exercise. This has made it easier to keep off most of the weight this time. My strategy had 3 main phases:

First was to eliminate sugary sodas, which I am essentially addicted to. I typically drink about 6 sodas per day. So by the calorie math, I can lose 2 pounds per week simply be eliminating soda, before even starting any diet or exercise. I found it very difficult, especially at the start of the diet, but I was able to do it and found the motivation to stay focused.

Second was diet. I didn’t use any structured diet plan; I merely ate more sensibly. My normal diet is quite unhealthy, with too much fast food and junk food. So I cut back on those habits, and lost weight pretty consistently. I had a non-fat yogurt for breakfast every day. For lunch and dinner, I didn’t count every calorie, or eliminate any specific foods. I just tried to be sensible with the content and size of every meal. Like most dieters, I ate more salads and chicken. I still allowed myself an occasional indulgence; I just did it in moderation.

Third was exercise. My main strategy was to increase my running. Typically, I might run about 4 miles per run, but only average a couple runs per week. For this contest, I increased to average 6 miles per run, 5 days per week. I resisted the temptation to overdo my exercise. But it still had a significant effect on my weight loss.

I found that by eliminating the extreme diet and exercise I tried last year, and doing everything in moderation this time, I have been much more successful keeping off most of the weight I lost. Since I ended my contest 7 months ago after losing over 50 pounds, I have gained back only about 10 pounds. So for the first time in my adult life, I have kept off the weight after completing a diet, and maintained my healthy weight. I want to thank Healthy Loser for giving me the motivation to reach and now finally maintain my weight loss goals.

Kevin Muehl

Riverview, FL
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December 18, 2013: I believe the term quoted to me by my PA was “borderline obesity” …. I was stunned. I was called into the office to discuss my lab results. At 198 lbs., my cholesterol was 248. She then began to talk about medicine and I knew I had to do something. I told her of my plans to start a new exercise program and she told me if I could get down to 170 lbs., we agreed I would try my plan first. I joined Farrell’s Extreme Bodyshaping 10-week Challenge on January 11, 2014. I embraced all aspects of the program – diet, exercise and attitude. I was on a team with six others and we had two coaches. The exercise was 45 minutes a day, 6 days per week and it was a combination of kickboxing for cardio and resistance bands training for strength. It was HARD! I was so out of shape, that I actually had a difficult time just getting through the workouts at first. I had a situation where one of the instructors came over to me and asked if I was okay and told me not to keep going if I was hurting. I was so embarrassed realizing how pathetic I must have looked. But I did not quit. I also broke a bone in my right toe and ripped part of my tendon with it during my second kickboxing session. My biggest concerns when I went to see my orthopedic surgeon who had done my 4 previous foot surgeries was – 1) Did I do something to undo my surgery? (I thought I pulled out the staple or broke a pin) – I did not. And 2) Can I keep up Farrell’s classes? He said that I could continue and I was just going to hurt for about 3 weeks. Well, it hurt most of the 10-weeks but I did not quit. The diet was a clean-eating plan with a combination of carbs (low) and protein at every meal, eating 6 meals per day and drinking 80 ounces of water per day, limiting caffeine and alcohol. I did not drink beer for the entire 10-weeks. Farrell’s program does not focus on weight loss (in fact, we were not allowed to weigh ourselves the entire 10 weeks) as you are building muscle and it weighs more than fat so, the scale is not very helpful. My results: I lost a total of 21.75 inches, 24.1 lbs., and decreased my body fat by 4.4%. I received the “No Matter What” award at our 10-week graduation celebration. My cholesterol lab is 178 and no medication! Best of all, I feel good and I can wear tank tops because I now have arms! Farrell’s and Healthy Loser gave me the motivation to change! I am so happy! Thank you!
Laura Scheffert, Williamsburg, IA
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I was able to lose weight by eating right. I have very little time to exercise but by cutting out junk I was able to lose 40 pounds over 3 months. My diet consisted of a fruit and/or veggie smoothie for breakfast and lunch then a small healthy meal for dinner. If I had a craving I allowed myself to cheat on the diet during weekends, I feel like this flexibility is necessary to stick to a diet for an extended period of time. Although I didn’t lose as much weight as I originally wanted to I feel that this contest was a great success for me; I lost weight and learned a lot about how to make a diet work for me, including how to stick to it.

Sean B. McCarthy
seanbizz7@hotmail.com
(717)654-6729
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Obesity is a scary word for me. I’ve been fighting it all my life, watching the scale go up and down, losing weight only to gain it right back. Less than a year ago, I was morbidly obese, tipping the scale at more than 500 lbs. I could barely walk, couldn’t fit my seat belt, and avoided most crowds. I was so ashamed. I entered the Healthy Loser contest once before knowing I wasn’t ready to change. I failed miserably, not just the competition also myself. This time was different. I decided to change my life about a year ago. I was done with all the excuses and completely fed up with not living my life the way I envisioned it. I was ready for a transformation.

I began my journey by eliminating all “bad foods”, no more fast food, junk food, soda, etc. I only ate clean foods, meaning if it’s not natural and doesn’t come from the earth, I didn’t touch it. I also began putting the treadmill I purchased well over a year ago to use. I couldn’t even walk ten minutes on my first day, my lower back ached, and I was out of breath within seconds. I had to keep reminding myself that it was just day one. I stuck with the clean eating, continued walking, and also started drinking a gallon of water a day. In 12 weeks, I was 83 lbs lighter. I was on my way to getting my life back. Still morbidly obese, I decided to give the Healthy Loser competition another try. I was so motivated. I joined both competitions, the weight loss and transformation contests.

To lose weight during the 91 days of competition, I implemented the exact same habits that resulted in my previous weight loss, clean eating, walking, and lots of water. Yes, I fell off the wagon several times, but I just kept getting back up. I never strayed away from my goals for long. Taking on this competition has given me a vision of what real change is. Being able to compare the old you and the new you in the form of picture is very eye opening and somewhat shocking. Many of us, including me, get caught up on what the scale says. While it’s important to measure our progress, success can be measured in more ways that just a number on the scale. Win or lose, I am ecstatic about my before and after pictures. To see a more defined waist, smaller thighs, and a bigger smile made all the hard work and discipline so worth it.

I have not won the battle against obesity yet. I still have a long road ahead me. It’ll take much more sweat, a whole ocean of water, and riding past many more drive thru windows to lose all this weight, but I’m up for the challenge. I am transformed and ready to continue embarking on this journey.
Jacqueline Furch
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I’m in the 15 to 20% weight loss bracket and I’m just providing my success story. Keeping it short and simple, I ate better and exercised more. I cut out fatty and sugary foods, as well as soft drinks. I went to the gym daily as well. It just takes patience and willpower to be successful.

Thanks,
James McGill
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I have always struggled with my weight but this year I decided to make a permanent change not just a temporary fix. I have tried quick fix diets like isagenix, shakeology, and ideal protein. You do lose weight during these diets but it is really just a quick fix…it doesn’t teach you how to eat a healthy normal lifestyle in the long run. I decided to do it the old fashioned way (and cheaper way) and that was to eat healthy small meals 6x per day and keep my caloric intake under 1800 calories. I have always been a gym goer so that was the easy part I just kept on going doing weights and cardio 6 days per week but keep my diet in check. I did have cheat meals as I didn’t want to feel deprived! It worked and in 90 days I lost over 15% of my original body weight! I highly recommend to everyone trying I lose weight who want to keep it off in the Long run that they learn to eat healthy meals and exercise…you want a long term lifestyle change not a quick fix to fit into an old pair of jeans 🙂
Melissa Willman, Cranbrook BC
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For the healthy loser contest I used the MyFitness Pal app and tried to eat better and exercise a lot. I was coming off a year long battle with lymphoma that involved being in the hospital for weeks at a time. During that time I lost a lot of muscle mass and when chemo ended I started to gain weight from being able to eat again. I used this contest to get myself back in shape, eat better, and be healthy. Matt Olson
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I am a veteran of the Healthy Loser competitor. I competed three times in the Weight Loss competition and this is my second time competing in the Transformation Contest. My first Transformation contest I didn’t do too well, I gave up halfway through the competition. This round I was determine to win. I entered both the Weight Loss Contest and the Transformation Contest.
My strategy was plain and simple; I sent text message to 4 people that I see on a regular basis, I offered to pay $2,500.00 of my own money to each of them if I do not loss 45 lbs by 7/31/2014 ( that played a big part in my weight loss )! I also had to eat right and join a local gym and make myself go at least 5 times a week.
My first month through the competition I almost gave up. The dieting and the strict work out routine was taking its toll on my body, but I did not want to have to pay up on my bets. After the first month, I had lost 20 lbs and I had noticed the tones and definition in body. After that, I wasn’t worried about winning the contest any more. I was more obsess with looking good and feeling good, and looking good and feeling good I did!
I had managed to shed over 52 lbs. of fat and turned it to muscle by the end of this competition. I honestly could of lost 20 more pounds easily and won the first prize on the Weight Loss Competition as well, but I couldn’t help myself staying away from the weight liftings. I became addicted to the weights, each night I try to out do myself lifting heavier, working out longer.
I began to see muscles in my body where I’ve never seen before and that was all I needed to keep going.
Even though I loss over 52 lbs of fat, I’d gain a lot muscle weight as well.
Joining the Healthy Loser is an all win/win situation, no one comes out a loser. As much hard work and effort I’d put into this competition and looking at the end result, I already feel like a winner. Thanks Dave for a great experience and a new leaner healthier me!!!!!
Von Phanthala
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Hello , My Name is Mel (Melony)
Let me start of by saying I was in the Obese Range for BMI For Years 35 percent was my average, Every 2 years had to take a DOT Physical and I would always only get a temporary 90 day card until I lost enough weight to be under 33percent, I decided I am tired of this and time to make a change. So I found the healthy loser website and it was a very easy choice to make as far as spending the 100 dollars,I knew if I did this even if I didn’t lose quite 15 percent, I would save much more than that just by not going out to eat while trying to lose weight.
I knew I could lose the weight because I joined a local Gym contest back in 2010 and lost 26 percent and won first place but gained it right back and then some (I was on a very strict diet). This time I decided to take a more slower approach and easier way to lose weight.My problem was always rush all day long and not eat until evening time while watching tv and then go to bed..NOT GOOD so I knew first off I needed to change my habits to lose and keep the weight off. So first thing I did was not just sit and watch tv,because for me this was my trigger to eat junk food. I made sure I ate a couple times during the day (healthy food) and also made sure I was busy in the evenings till bed time. I mostly walked in evenings sometimes 3 miles sometimes 10 miles.I have a bad knee so couldn’t really do much jumping/running etc.
I have changed my way of life as far as the habits I had, I am not gonna say I had No unhealthy food during this process or even now,but just in moderation. I used to order take out pizza (one of my favorites) I no longer do that If I want pizza I go out to eat and leave the rest there 🙂 I don’t bring unhealthy food in my house, If I must have something unhealthy I go out and eat much easier for me to stay healthy long term.
When I first started losing weight I was over 200 pounds for years, I am under 170 and still working toward my goal weight. I couldn’t even walk to mailbox and back without being out of breath,had no energy at all, now I sleep better,have much more energy and last but not least almost in normal BMI instead of Obese. I have a 2 year DOT card and to walk in the doctors office and get one that wasn’t temporary and not have to worry about losing my CDL or job was the best feeling in the world.
I am thankful to Healthy Loser for all they do and there support ,it was the last push I needed to change my life.During the contest I lost over 16 percent ,wore size 40 then now I wear size 32 and have lost 20 percent.My personal belief for anyone is no matter your weight loss goals it is more important to change your habits not just your calorie intake 🙂
Melony Yantz, Florida
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My success story started with deciding that I needed not just a diet and workout plan but a different motivator. This decision led me to search for a competition of some sort online as I’m a competitor and know that I would do best if I’m competing against a group to achieve my goal. When I stumbled to the “Healthy Loser” it all made sense to me and I knew this would be the program that kept me on the right path to losing the weight I wanted. Even if I didn’t win the $5000, it was a win-win for me as I knew I would lose a tremendous amount of weight and would only spend $100 (how many can say that when starting popular diet programs you see on TV or hear on the radio).

I started by fasting for 5 days to get my body ready to eat better and to begin working out. After my fast, I stayed on a 1200-1500 calorie intake (with cheat days). I’m wasn’t particular about writing down my calorie intake, I roughly guesstimated the amount of calories I’ve eaten during the day which was pretty accurate. After awhile you know what you can and can’t eat…if I wanted a burger and fries I would eat it, but knew that I just blew through 1100 calories and I’d have to eat salad and water for the remainder of the day. I started running by doing the couch to 5k program and eventually ran a 5k by the end of my 3 months (couldn’t run 1/4 mile when I started). After going through this program, I realized that any diet and workout plan will get you to your goal, but the most important thing is your motivation…what will keep you on track when you’ve had a rough moment, day, or even week. Healthy Loser was the motivating program I needed…it may be the right program for you.

Healthy Loser of 42lbs,
-Andre Boldware
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“Diet and exercise” is a stock phrase in my daily vocabulary. Each day for the last year, I have been sitting across from patients, giving this advice. Graduating just one year ago from medical school, I suddenly found myself in this privileged position. However, each day I felt some discomfort in saying those words. Deep down, I knew that I was not following my own advice. I would be doing my patients a disservice to not mention it; as “diet and exercise”, now more then ever, are the absolute foundation of human health. So many of our country’s lethal diseases could be avoided by incorporating these principles into our daily lives.

As I child, I excelled in school, but not so much on the field. A fear of balls flying around, and a small amount of coordination impairment kept me away from sports. Therefore I was relatively inactive while putting my efforts into studying. I did feel passionate about improving people’s lives, and knew I wanted to make a career in this. Combined with my interest in biology, medicine seemed like a perfect option. Studying through medical school left me little time to focus on myself. I also picked up the habit of snacking while I was studying and eating processed foods or frequently ordering take-out.

And that is how I found myself here, educated to teach people about health, but joining the millions of Americans eating too much and exercising too little. I felt self-conscious about my body and did not feel confident enough to pursue some of the things I wanted to. Determined to finally change this, I bought a book by a physician which laid out a perfect road map to becoming healthy and staying staying that way for life; complete with several recipes. I also joined a gym with a schedule of well-balanced cardio and weight-lifting exercises.

I tried so hard to stick to my plan, but got so tired of eating the same recipes. I also dreaded having to drag myself to the gym and put in 40 minutes on the elliptical machine after a long day of work. Time and time again this would result in me getting “fed-up”; buying ice cream and sitting on the couch felt like such a relief, though filled with guilt. After several cycles, I eventually gave up. When I saw “The Healthy Loser” competition with the motivational success stories, I thought it might be just the motivation I needed to try again.

I knew to succeed, I had to try something different this time. I decided to purchase a produce box of local vegetables, that were conveniently delivered right to my door each week. I would look up healthy recipes online to transform my vegetables into healthy, delicious meals. The variety was endless, and I never got bored. I decided to cancel my membership at the gym, and instead joined a yoga studio. I found the practice calming and restorative, and always looked forward to going. I also found a “climbing buddy”, and we made a goal of going to the rock gym twice a week. I could clearly see my improvement as I was able to climb harder and harder routes. I also loved looking at the routes and puzzling how to perform certain moves, and pushing each other to make them. At my sister’s urging, I also joined a beginner Salsa dancing team. The practices were so much fun, and left me sweating and exhausted by the end.

Over the weeks I noticed my numbers on the scale steadily dropping, while I steadily became happier, healthier and more energetic. I was standing in front of my mirror, several months into the competition, inspecting my spandex, midriff-baring Salsa costume for our first performance. I suddenly realized, for the first time, I really liked what I saw. I was excited to show our new skills on the dance floor, and felt 100% confident in my body.

This was probably the biggest gift I have ever given to myself. The thing that meant the very most to me though, was the feeling I got when sitting across from my patients, urging them to make healthier choices in their lives. I felt like I was finally a role model, in addition to being a teacher, of these important concepts. I feel very thankful for “Healthy Loser” for giving me the push I needed to transform my life. I do feel proud of myself for meeting my health goals, and for being able to post these final pictures.
Kayla Luhrs
907.301.6427
akayla24@me.com
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My wakeup call was when I posted my photo & video weigh-in online for this contest & received my starting weight by email stating that I was 181.8 pounds!! I thought OMG!!! I can’t believe I have gained so much over these years. I have a Fitness Coaching background from about 10 years ago so I played that role to myself as if I was my own client & took the advice that I use to give my clients when they wanted to lose weight. Turning 40 this year was my turning point to handle this weight issue once & for all and this contest was ending right around the time of my birthday; so as a gift of health to myself I decided to enroll. I started by making charts for myself and did daily monitoring of how I felt & what worked & didn’t work. I wrote on an index card my goal weight & looked at it often as a visual of my goal. Then made a list of what I’m thankful for throughout the day as a reminder to make daily healthy choices to reach my goal & to be grateful for what I have. I ate clean as in (no can, boxed, or processed food) I saved eating out as my cheat day & kept that to a minimum of once a week. I ate lots of greens & kale, and because I’m not really a salad kind of person I mainly blended my salad in a blender & added some fruit for a bit of taste. I stayed away from pop- even diet soda. I ate 90% healthy & 10% junks was the method I used. I need to have a few sweets once in a while…. Telling myself no would make me crave it even more!!
I also used the (myplate.com) approach as well. I planned my foods ahead in advance. Sometimes when I knew that my week was going to be extra busy I would cook on Sunday night & fill up containers for every day of the week & kept them in the freezer to use each day during the week. I made sure I got enough rest & sleep. Many People don’t know that sleep is very important to their success- it’s when your body repairs itself & functions better. I lost 49 pounds in 12 weeks without any diet pills or programs. I just ate healthy and did speed walking 6 times a week on the treadmill at the gym while watching my favorite TV programs. I got more active by going bowling, roller skating, and playing badminton. This 12 week challenge has inspired me to want to do fitness coaching again. I am grateful to Dave at healthyloser.com for starting this weight loss challenge& for the chance to learn about this contest and compete in it. This contest has sprung back to my heart a desire and passion that I once had for the health& fitness industry. I love looking through fitness/health magazines of weight loss success stories. And now I have a success story of my own!
Sharon Heynez
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Around December I finally realized that I needed to lose a decent amount of weight. I have lost 20-30 pounds several times but enver stuck with it, and at that weight always had another 30 pounds that I needed to lose. I found that I lost interested after about 45 days into my weight loss and knew that I needed some more motivation. So since the first of the year was coming up, I figured there would have to be somewhere online that was a contest for losing weight. I found it at healthyloser.com The thought of winning money kept me motivated to keep trying to lose weight.

For me, it was more then a 90 day change, it was a lifestyle change. I have always been active that hasn’t been a problem with me. For me it was eating right. I started a local diet called http://www.myshibboleth.com/ which helped a lot. I also increased my running. I found a running partner and started training for half marathons. I played basketball every morning, ran every lunch, and ran long distances on the weekend. In February I ran my first half marathon and had run 3 within the 90 days. I’m currently training for a full marathon.

I feel better, look better, and am happy that I finally lost the weight that I wanted. I’m planning to spend the next 90 days toning my body. For me, I feel that the biggest challenge is just beginning, that is to keep the weight off. I have a great love for food, but have to continue to eat carefully.
I am grateful to healthyloser.com for providing the motivation to keep me going.
Derek Dickard
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Obesity is a scary word for me. I’ve been fighting it all my life, watching the scale go up and down, losing weight only to gain it right back. Less than a year ago, I was morbidly obese, tipping the scale at more than 500 lbs. I could barely walk, couldn’t fit my seat belt, and avoided most crowds. I was so ashamed. I entered the Healthy Loser contest once before knowing I wasn’t ready to change. I failed miserably, not just the competition also myself. This time was different. I decided to change my life about a year ago. I was done with all the excuses and completely fed up with not living my life the way I envisioned it. I was ready for a transformation.

I began my journey by eliminating all “bad foods”, no more fast food, junk food, soda, etc. I only ate clean foods, meaning if it’s not natural and doesn’t come from the earth, I didn’t touch it. I also began putting the treadmill I purchased well over a year ago to use. I couldn’t even walk ten minutes on my first day, my lower back ached, and I was out of breath within seconds. I had to keep reminding myself that it was just day one. I stuck with the clean eating, continued walking, and also started drinking a gallon of water a day. In 12 weeks, I was 83 lbs lighter. I was on my way to getting my life back. Still morbidly obese, I decided to give the Healthy Loser competition another try. I was so motivated. I joined both competitions, the weight loss and transformation contests.

To lose weight during the 91 days of competition, I implemented the exact same habits that resulted in my previous weight loss, clean eating, walking, and lots of water. Yes, I fell off the wagon several times, but I just kept getting back up. I never strayed away from my goals for long. Taking on this competition has given me a vision of what real change is. Being able to compare the old you and the new you in the form of picture is very eye opening and somewhat shocking. Many of us, including me, get caught up on what the scale says. While it’s important to measure our progress, success can be measured in more ways that just a number on the scale. Win or lose, I am ecstatic about my before and after pictures. To see a more defined waist, smaller thighs, and a bigger smile made all the hard work and discipline so worth it.

I have not won the battle against obesity yet. I still have a long road ahead me. It’ll take much more sweat, a whole ocean of water, and riding past many more drive thru windows to lose all this weight, but I’m up for the challenge. I am transformed and ready to continue embarking on this journey.
Jacqueline Furch , South Carolina, Jan. 15, 2014

My Weight loss Journey started like many others. One day I stepped on a scale and saw a number over 300. I decided right then this had to change. So I found a 24hour gym and started working out every day. The next week there was a 90 day weight loss contest starting at the gym and I decided if I am going to do one I might as well do as many as I can. Through a search of the web I found healthy loser and a few other weight loss contests and started them all in the month of August. I started tracking all the food I ate with a free app for my cell phone and worked my way into morning and evening workouts. After a month of 2-a-days my knees started to give out on me and I faltered for a few weeks but with the help and motivation of friends I was able to get back on track and finish up strong. I started the first contest on 8/2/2013 at 308.9Lbs and ended the last on 11/13/2013 at 239.6Lbs I could never have done it without the help and encouragement of friends and family. Mark Schultz Dec. 31, 2013

 

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Jena Logan Transformation Essay

Almost 3 years ago I had achieved a lifelong goal of running a marathon, but the following year my life got turned upside down when my husband was diagnosed with an aggressive bladder cancer. That whole year I completely lost focus and my life spiraled out of control as I tried to take care of him and stay strong for my family. Even after his recovery I continued to use food for emotional comfort and could not find balance in my life.

I am so thankful for the Healthy Loser contest. It was the motivator I needed to make healthy changes in my life and start to tackle some of the issues that caused me to become overweight. As a mother of 4 and a Girl Scout leader I feel that it is important for me to be an example to my kids and scouts.

Over the past few months I have worked very hard on finding balance in my life and establishing healthier habits in my quest for permanent change. I have tried just about every fad diet, but the results have never been lasting. This time the first thing I focused on was my mindset. Instead of going on a diet, I started healthy eating habits. Prior to this contest I consumed sweets and diet soda multiple times a day. I eliminated these items from my diet and replaced them with healthier options – I chose fruit over cookies and water with lemon over Diet Pepsi. It was very hard at first, but after a few weeks my cravings subsided. I allowed myself to have treats periodically so I wouldn’t feel deprived. I also started exercising again and got a personal trainer at my gym. I have started to keep track of what I eat, how much water I drink and how much I exercise. I also journal my feelings about my self image, struggles with cravings, and how I feel in general. I have learned to reward myself for my accomplishments, whether I buy myself a new outfit (in a smaller size!), take a hike or go out for a night on the town with my husband or friends. One of the best changes that has resulted from this transformation is that we have made this a family transformation. It is extremely helpful to have the support of my family. I think the most important factor, however, has been my faith. I have put God back into first place, and as a result, I have been able to achieve much more balance in my life.

It is exciting to say that I can now look in the mirror and like the person looking back at me. I don’t see a fat, ugly woman anymore. I see a beautiful woman who is well on her way to meeting her goal of a healthy BMI. For the first time in my life the number on the scale is less important than how healthy I am, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Dec. 5, 2013

I think that the biggest reason for my tranformation was having my baby girl coming into my life. I knew that If I did not change my sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits I’d have serious health problems when I’m older. I had to change things. I really want to be a good role model for my daughter and to help her live a healthy lifestyle. However, I would not have much credibility if I did not practice what I preach. Finding out about this challenge gave me the motivation to begin a new life.

So, on July 4 2013, I decided to change my life for good. I got a gym membership and started working out with weights, doing eliptical training and running on the treadmill for an hour combined. I would work out six days a week. I could not go everyday because I work over 50 hours a week and I still wanted to spend time with my daughter. Even though I have a busy schedule I still managed to lose almost 50 pounds in three months. It was not easy – but I’m glad I did it. It is worth the struggle. Everday activities are very easy for me now. My endurance is amazing, I sleep better and I don’t snore anymore.

On the diet side, it was not too difficult to maintain. I would eat about 1500 -1700 calories a day and divide them by six smaller meals. This way I would keep my metabolism from slowing down. My body would always know it was going to be fed and it was less likely to store calories as fat. I would eat chicken, turkey, protein powder, yogurt, lots of romaine salad, all kinds of green vegetables and peanut butter . I ate these foods for 91 days. It was very successful for me. I

am thankful for this contest because it gave me the motivation I needed to live a happier and healthier life.

Justin Fitzsimons. Oct. 23, 2013

My story:

I’ve been overweight for as long as I can remember. I was in dance and other sports growing up but I was always the ‘fat’ girl. I’m working on conquering the horrible food addiction which I must say is harder than other addictions that I conquered long ago. I have had many struggles including anxiety, depression and sleep apnea which makes it that much harder to lose weight but I am determined. It may take me longer to lose the weight than others but it’s not how fast you lose it that counts. I really struggled in the past 3 months. Had a lot of bad things happen which I discovered I am an emotional eater which I never thought I was before. I am a single mom, that juggles 3 jobs but I found some time to start working out on my elliptical for 1 hour a day which definitely gave me more energy. This is just the start of my journey and I’m going to keep working hard to get down to my goal weight.

8th Place Winner, April-July
My name is Courtney Bell. I have 4 children under the age of 6. The youngest
Just turned 1. I was always someone who got the baby weight off but my last pregnancy brought about back pain. In January I discovered I had a tumor on my spine. I had surgery jan 4th to remove that. Surgery went well but considering I had just delivered my son 4 months prior via c-section I did not have the weight off. The neuro surgeon also ordered for me to have little to no activity for the next 12 weeks.
Needless to say I put on an additional 20 pounds on top of the remaining baby weight I had. At my absolute lowest I started looking for motivation. I luckily came across healthy loser. I signed up and started researching the easiest diet to maintain. I wanted to lose weight fast but I also wanted it to stay off.

My diet strategy was simple whatever went in to my body calorically came back out by hard work. I bought a heart rate monitor to calculate my calories burned in a workout. I downloaded the free app ,”my fitness pal.” I used their calculations of what I should eat to lose 2 pounds a week and then I made sure I worked off whatever calories I took in. For example, if I would journal 1400 calories for the day
I would do a combo of running and Jillian Michael’s DVD to burn that 1400 calories off. I had a few slow loss weeks but I realized about half way through, the better hydrated I was, the faster the weight came off. I started focusing on taking in 8, 8 ounce glasses of water a day. The greatest part has been the competition is over I now run 3 times a week no where near burning off every calorie I take in daily but I have maintained my final weigh in weight. I’m sure there are faster ways to lose but making the lifestyle change has proved to be great not only to win money but all aspects of my life. Thank you healthy loser for motivating me to make a change.

Courtney Bell
Omaha, Nebraska
April 13 contestant

9th Place Winner April – July, 2013.

I’ve followed the general rules of keeping healthy by exercising and eating right, even while I was pregnant with my first child. But after he was born in September of 2012, I slowly started falling off the band wagon. I was on “Baby Time”. Not sleeping enough, not being able to eat on time, no time for exercise because of fatigue. After about three months as my baby and I started developing a routine, I slowly started exercising again. I took him on walks with me. I began eating on time again. And in about a month I lost 5 pounds. That wasn’t enough as I had gained 20 lbs after he was born so I started looking for weight loss contests I could enter. I needed some monetary motivation and that’s when I found Healthy Loser. I went back and forth for about a week, thinking it was a scam, but after googling and doing some research, I found it to be legit. Although I wanted to win $5000, I knew that I would not be able to lose 25% of my body weight in 90 days, with being a new mom, working full-time and taking care of the household, so I set a realistic goal of losing at least 15% which equated to 30 lbs. This would put me at 165 pounds, which would be less than my pre-pregnancy weight.

My strategy was to keep it simple and to incorporate it into my life. I utilized concepts of Fat Loss Factor and exercised at least 5 days a week for 30 minutes each day. I used many Youtube videos to keep things fun and my body guessing. I had lots of help from family but even then getting in 30 minutes straight was not easy with a baby. On those days, I would break it up into three 10 minute workouts or do chores while carrying him or go up and down the stairs with him until I was sweating.
I ended up losing 30 lbs and now would like to lose another 20. I have been able to maintain my weight loss since the contest closed and am now in search of another contest to help motivate me to lose another 20. I want to thank Healthy Loser for providing me with the opportunity to lose weight and my family in supporting me during the contest.

Cheers.

Sukhwinder K. Singh, Calgary, Alberta — August 16, 2013

 

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2nd place winnner, April 2013 Round

While I have always been overweight hovering around the 200-225 range, I got to my all-time high of 289.8 after having children. I have had 2 children in the past 3 years. Instead of losing the baby weight from the first, I just continued to eat in a very poor way, and then got pregnant with my second. Shortly after he turned 4 months old I knew I had to get all of this weight off and started searching for some type of competition. I was very happy to find Healthy Loser because it was just the motivation I needed to get back on track, lose all the baby weight, but also get down to an actual healthy weight for my height (still a work in progress) I also learned that my blood pressure was very high at a physical I had around the beginning of my 3 months. It was 150/98 and I had to daily monitor and unless I lowered it by my next appointment I was going to have to go on medication. I knew I had to be successful, and I followed through for the first time!

My strategy was always evolving through this competition to find what worked for me. Before weighing in I purchased a BodyMedia Fit armband (like they use on biggest loser) and set up my account so I could monitor and record all calories going in my body and calories being burnt by my body on a daily basis. This kept track of everything I did, and I could easily monitor if I was going to lose weight or not, and change my eating/exercising habits accordingly. It even analyzed what I was eating and gave me tips along the way. I also did a lot of research as to what eating plan I was going to do. We wanted to start eating cleaner at home, and actually eat at home, not out at restaurants like we did most nights in the past.

In the beginning I thought I would try a shake program, Visalus (Body by Vi), and I did purchase their transformation kit, mixed with clean snacks and dinners. I did their program for the first couple weeks, and shed a lot of weight really quickly. Since I started at 289.8, I was eating around 1700-1900 calories per day through the shakes, snacks, and dinner. I found that I was dreading the shakes though. They were good, I just can not drink my meals. I decided that I just couldn’t do that any longer. So I went back to researching, and I watched some documentaries and read some books. My favorites were the movie “Fathead” and the book “Why We Get Fat” by Gary Taubes. I learned how my body process certain foods, and tried to make my choices based on my new understanding of food.

I made lists of all the snacks I liked, or wanted to try, and then also a list for breakfasts/lunches/dinners, and posted my menu choices on the fridge. I tried to have my fridge stocked with those things so anytime I could pick what sounded good and easily eat it. I am a very strong believer in eating more to lose more, and I found myself eating probably 6-7 times a day. Usually my schedule went: early morning snack (before workout) , then a post workout snack which was usually a protein shake (I still had them, just not my whole diet), then I would have breakfast . Instead of a traditional lunch I would normally just snack all day. I would normally have 3 -4 snacks between my breakfast and dinner, and then dinner. I would say my diet had evolved into a paleo/low carb plan. We planted a garden, so towards the end of the competition we had a constant supply of fresh lettuce and spinach which was wonderful! Most of the other veggies weren’t ready yet, but we have a lot of local farmers markets that already had a lot of their produce ready that we would stock up on. Just by making these better choices the weight just melted away, especially since my diet before was full of processed, fast food, and high carb food. Also water was about the only beverage I had through the day. However, I did still have my one cup of coffee, and coffee creamer/sugar in the morning. It was my treat to myself I didn’t deprive myself of. I also tried not to eat in the evening after dinner, but If I just couldn’t do without something I usually had another cup of coffee and it always satisfied my cravings. We also would have unsweetened teas occasionally too. (I just realized I say we a lot in this because my husband and kids did this right along with me most of the time!) I also did allow myself 1-2 free meals a week where I didn’t monitor everything closely, however, as the competition progressed I found that my cheat meals really weren’t that much of a “cheat”. I found myself really craving the good stuff!

As far as exercising goes, I just tried to be more active. My goal was at least 8,000 steps per day, and to do some sort of physical exertion. I do have an elliptical machine at home and that was my go to, as well as a few workout dvds. My favorite is Jillian Michael’s 30 day shred. I never really did it the right way though progressing all through the 30 day program, so that is actually my next goal now that the competition is over. I also tried to just be active around the house too. I spent at least one day doing heavy yard work (around 4 hours worth) each week. Running around with my kids outside and taking walks in the park was also something I tried to do a few times a week. Halfway through the competition I did step it up and joined a very intense group boot camp class at a local gym. No workout was the same and It really increased my strength and endurance. I also started training for a 5K with the couch 2 5K running program to get ready for a 5K mud run (obstacle course) that I ran. During this whole competition I feel like it really pushed me to find what works for me, and it helped me to explore lots of different foods and experiences I would have not done otherwise. I love all the new changes in my body and I look forward to keep going! My new blood pressure recorded by my doctor is now 112/68, and no medications and he told me I don’t even have to monitor it anymore! At 210 I am so close to getting into the 100s which is super exciting! By next April (a year) I would love to be at my goal weight.

Heather Tolles, Chagrin Falls, OH – 8/5/13

I lost 25.32% in the April 2013 round, good enough for 3rd place overall (sharing the ‘1st place’ pool with 2 others). I have had a struggle with weight for most of my adult life, and have yo-yoed up and down the same several dozen pounds countless times over the years. I have a bit of O C D, so I know from past experience that I am capable of losing 5 or more pounds per week when I really focus on it with effort. Unfortunately, I am just as obsessive with enjoying large quantities of unhealthy food, so I would usually go back up just as quickly. Healthy Loser intrigued me, but I saw that previously, some folks had lost as much as 30% and won nothing at all! But then I saw this spring the announcement of the new tiered prize structure which looked great, so I signed on. The prize tiers were a huge motivator for me. I was shooting to lose 30% or more to try to win first place, but I knew that even 15% or 20% would be worth the effort to keep going if I came up short of my goals. Otherwise, under the old prize structure, if I fell off the pace even slightly, it would have been too tempting to just give up once I knew I had no shot at any prize money. So I just kept my eye on the finish line to keep me going when things got tough, and it paid off in the end.

My strategy had 3 primary facets, which I’ll describe below. I ended up averaging over 5 pounds lost per week. I would say the 3 facets were each equally important, and contributed about 2 pounds of weight loss per week each.

My first task was to eliminate sugary sodas, which I was previously quite addicted to – I drank an average of 8 per day, never drinking a single ounce of anything else ever – no coffee, water, juice, milk, or even alcohol. So doing the math on the calories, I could lose 2 ½ pounds per week simply be replacing all of that soda with water or diet drinks, even with absolutely no dieting or exercise! But as an extreme lifetime soda addict, this was very difficult, especially at first, but I hung in there and nearly eliminated those empty calories. During the contest, I cut them back to nearly zero. But now that it’s over, I try to limit myself to perhaps one per day as a special treat, and it makes it that much more enjoyable and something to look forward to.

Second was diet. I applied much less structure to my diet than most folks. Similar to the sodas, my previous eating habits were pretty unhealthy. I ate a lot of burgers and fries, pizzas, and the like. So by merely drastically cutting back on these high-calorie meals, I was able to lose weight pretty consistently. I would have a light fat-free yogurt for breakfast, a light lunch, and a healthy dinner, such as BBQ grilled chicken or a large salad with light dressing. I also ate a lot of pickles, which I enjoyed as a snack, often eating half of a jar at a time, but since they’re only 5 calories each that was OK. Another snack I ate frequently is pretzels, since they typically have zero fat, compared to potato chips or Doritos which I previously ate too much of. For my meals at lunch and dinner, I ate a large variety of things, with no real structure or calorie-counting or even logging. I would just be sensible with the content and size of every meal. Some things which I knew were very high in calories, I would still enjoy occasionally, but would make an effort to save leftovers, splitting one normal meal into 2 or 3 to save for later. I actually did not eliminate hardly any specific foods; I still had some pizza, fast food, ice cream and the like – I just did it in moderation.

Third was exercise. My OCD tendencies also benefitted me here. In the past, I have run (or jogged, since I’ve never been that fast or thin) 10 marathons and many more half-marathons. When I am training for one I typically run 5 or more miles most every day, and do a long run every weekend of 15-20 miles. Unfortunately, with the timing of my Healthy Loser contest I had no specific races to train for, but I decided to run frequently as if I were training for a race anyway, merely in order to burn more calories for the contest. Curiously, I found that the deadline date of the Healthy Loser contest was a bigger exercise motivator for me than an actual marathon race date! I found that I did my running training with more discipline than usual. I would find the motivation to get out the door and run by thinking how happy I would be if I would lose another pound that day, and how upset I’d be if I skipped a run and maybe went up a pound instead. I would also use my running as a way to earn a reward (or as penance for being bad, depending on how you look at it.) For example, I could eat 3 slices of pizza, but only if I ran 8 miles or whatever.

My methods might not have been what a doctor would prescribe, and they surely might not be for everyone, but they worked for me and I thank Healthy Loser for giving me the motivation to reach a weight I haven’t seen in over ten years!

Kevin Muehl
Riverview, FL
3rd Place – Healthy Loser April 2013 contest

April 29th 2013, 4th Place Winner

I was fortunate to stumble upon the healthy loser website while doing a little independent research on weight loss. It was almost like fate because I was starting to really take my fitness seriously and I love competition. I was a little skeptical at first because of the $100 entry fee, but I knew in my heart that at least I would have the weight loss to show for all my hard work if it was some sort of scam. Also, I couldn’t really be that concerned about the buy in because I usually bet more money than that per hand, when I play black jack at the casino. So I decided to take the plunge and I signed up for the Healthy Loser challenge. Right away I was pleased with the prompt responses and confirmation emails I received. The administrative team was very helpful with all the inquiries I had as well.

I officially started my journey at 180.03 lbs on April 29th, due to me literally finding out about healthy loser the day before. Once I started my journey I began going to the gym everyday on my lunch break and hiking trails with friends on the weekend. On top of that I was trying to run about 15 miles a week. I felt great and the pounds were melting away. During this period I was doing my best to eat leafy greens and juice fruit and vegetables as much as I could. As far as supplements go, I was taking protein powder, branched chain amino acids, and creatine to help supply the energy and recovery to my muscles so that I would be able to work out every day and be able to achieve the results that I wanted.

As mentioned above recovery was key in this challenge, because it is so short of a period to reach a goal and usually people in a situation like this go as hard as they can right out of the gate. Unfortunately if you’re not ready for such an endeavor, one can sustain an injury and be sidelined for a month. Anyone that has done this challenge can attest that being out with an injury would definitely dampen ones chances of making it to the top. I knew from past experiences that I would not be able to put up a competitive fight if I did not supplement muscle recovery into my plan; injury was not an option.

As the challenge moved on the toughest part about the experience wasn’t the work, the diet, or the weight loss. But dealing with friends, family, and my relationship. Sure, they were very supportive, but until you’re on a strict diet for a competitive program that has a short timeline you don’t realize how many events revolve around food and beer. May, June, and July were littered with cinco de mayo, mother’s day, father’s day, memorial day weekend, 4th of July weekend, and not to mention birthdays, sporting events, camping trips, and date nights with my girlfriend. It was so tough to not only stay true to my diet, but to not offend or annoy the people around me because I couldn’t “fully participate” in said events. My recommendation for someone is to really scour their calendar for a timeline that is barren to compete. Because mine was chalked to the gills with days that could sabotage my momentum towards my goals.

After the first month I lost 20 lbs and hit a plateau. I decided that the only way to keep my momentum was to adopt a purely vegetarian diet and abolish all beverages but water out of my diet. Once I did this I was able to lose 10 more lbs during the second month. So being at 30 lbs lost and noticing that at this pace I was not going to make my goal of 25%, I decided to make a drastic adjustment. I had just watched the documentary “fat, sick, and nearly dead” and decided to go on a pure juice fast for the last 29 days of the competition. During this juice fast I stopped taking all the supplements that were maintaining my muscle mass and I started running twice a day as well as going to the gym in the afternoon. This really kick started my weight loss again and took it to the next level. I ended up losing 14 lbs by the time weigh-ins came about. I had lost a total of 44lbs in 3 months off my 5’6” 180lb frame, which dropped me down to 137lbs. Unfortunately, I needed to lose 46lbs and be at 135lbs to reach my 25% goal. Even though I didn’t reach my goal, my friends, family, and girlfriend are all very proud of me. And I’m proud of myself when I look in the mirror now.

Hindsight really is 20/20. I bet everyone who took part in this competition can look back and pin point certain pit falls and points of weakness on their journey. This new awareness of my journey will allow me to more adequately map out my path in the future and give me the strength to stay true to my diet, in places where I previously gave into temptation and allowed myself to cheat.

I’m proud to say I still go to the gym everyday and am working on improving my mile time, which was at 5:58 pace 2 days after the competition ended. Healthy was exactly what I needed to put my priorities in place and motivate me to get healthy, not only for myself, but for the people around me as well. I hope to compete again in the future, even if it’s only because I need to lose 15%.

CHEERS!!!

Dominic Brooke Age: 28

 

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Hayward, CA August 8th 2013

I have been “dieting” for the past 30 years. Every day for the past three decades I have either thought about losing weight or have been actively losing weight. Obviously the days of “thinking” have far out-weighed the days of “actively losing”. Yo-yo dieter is the term that describes me best. With every diet the “yo” went a little higher on the scale with the increased rebound fat storage that followed the melting phase. My goal for the past five years has been to take “weight loss” off my to-do list.

This year I found that “one thing” that clicked for me, the missing link to my weight loss goals. My missing link is a term I had never heard before. Social dieting. Since joining the ranks of social dieting I have been getting closer and closer to my weight loss goals. Someday soon I will be able to swap the words “weight loss” for “weight maintenance” on my to-do list.

Strategy: My 91-day strategy was to do what I believe works best for me (after all I have had 30 years to practice) that being clean eating combined with exercise. There is so much information available on the topic of weight loss and I believe one has to find what works best for him/her. One size does not fit all when it comes to melting the adipose. We are all individuals, each unique in how our body responds to what we eat and if we burn or store fat. I am a big advocate of exercise. I believe everyone should be exercising based on the individual’s situation. For some fitness levels that may mean a walk around the block while for other’s it may mean interval and/or strength training five days per week.

My strategy consisted of eating clean. My menu consisted of the following: meat, vegetables, fruit, raw almonds, Greek yogurt, cheese, salad dressing, protein bars and shakes. I focused heavy on the protein and ate the healthy carbs. I was not afraid of fat. Healthy fats do not cause me to store fat, sugar does. My goal was to eat fruit in the morning before noon. Fruit is a very healthy component of my diet, but I did find for me too much of it slowed down my progress on the scale.

I did not count calories. But I did have a few rules. I tried to eat within 30 minutes of awakening and every three hours thereafter. Protein was a part of each fueling. I would try to eat a protein snack within one hour of completing my workout. Usually I ate 5 times per day. Once supper was done, eating for the day was also done.

Water was a huge component of my day. I drank water or unsweetened iced tea. Plain water throughout the day worked best in the support of melting the stored fat. My target was to drink 100 ounces per day.

Nutrition is 80% of weight loss. But do not forget the exercise. My goal through this weight loss process has been to spare the muscle burn the fat. Protein intake with regular exercise helps me achieve this formula.

During my 91 days I worked out with a trainer one hour per day, five days per week. We alternated cardio and strength days. The strength workouts always had some cardio components as well. Most of all I enjoyed the workouts and became stronger while curing my body of the horrible stiffness I had been experiencing due to my past daily consumption of sugar. Working out is key for me to retain and build muscle, burn fat, tone my body, and avoid becoming a deflated balloon.

I was not perfectly clean every day (as was the goal upon entering the contest) but my clean days far outweighed my unclean days. Progress, not perfection, I like to call it. In the end I lost 15.35% of my body weight.

As a 49 year-older I was very pleased with my 91- day results. I was especially pleased when on my birthday (during the contest) I actually released one-half pound. Historically my birthday has always been a fat storage day rather than a fat burning day.

Thank you Healthy Loser for the opportunity to participate in this weight loss contest. My determination to meet the goal of placing in the contest kept me focused throughout the 3 months. The ultimate prize for me was losing the weight and getting that much closer to my goal.

I plan to join another contest to reach my weight loss goals and redefine that to-do list once and for all.

Susie Schroeder, Sadorus, Illinois August 8, 2013

I started the Women’s Transformation contest a couple of months after the birth of my sixth and final child. I was excited to be done with the weight roller coaster of having six children in 11 years, but was finding it hard to muster up the motivation to stick to a healthy eating and exercise plan. Joining the Healthy Loser competition provided all the motivation I needed! My commitment was solid. Not that losing the weight was easy, this has been the hardest thing I have ever willingly done! However, through this whole process, every time I wanted to cheat or give up, I would remember that SOMEONE was going to win, and I wanted it to be me! Not just to ‘Win’, but to prove to myself that all those times I told myself I would get back in shape ‘after I’m done having kids’ wasn’t just wishful thinking. I love my body and am so grateful for all the children it has given me, but all the extra weight was burdensome and I hated the way I looked. Now, I feel so light and energetic! I am excited to embrace life with energy and confidence and especially to have enough energy to enjoy all these precious years I have left of raising my children.

To lose the weight, I focused on eating clean with an abundance of fruits and vegetables. I also did intermittent fasting and discovered that I LOVE to workout while fasting!

I started at 171 lbs and am now 133 lbs! 38 pounds down! I am going to continue until I hit my pre-children and pre-marriage weight…finally!! The happiest change for me has been my waist going from 41” to 30”…it feels so good to finally wear a fitted shirt confidently without any ‘rolls’!

Thanks!
Lois Hassell July 29, 2013

Besides being obese, I had never had any medical problems. When my doctor told me a few months ago that my blood pressure was off-the-charts (150/98), I knew I needed to do something about my weight. My luck with being overweight and avoiding health complications had finally run out. I was very fortunate to find Healthy Loser around that time.

Before the Healthy Loser competition, I did not have a regular diet. I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted it. I knew I needed to make healthy changes for myself and my family. I subscribed to several clean eating blogs, joined online healthy eating groups, and checked out some library books. I was inspired by the documentary “Fat Head,” and the book “Why We Get Fat.” Now, I make informed decisions about what foods I put in my body, and I understand how my body processes different foods. My family and I planted our first garden, so we could enjoy fresh produce. I stopped buying processed foods. I started creating menus and planning meals, so we would not impulsively eat out when nothing was prepared. For the first time, I followed through with all my plans. These changes have been easy to stick with because I am eating a lot of good food without feeling hungry or deprived, and the pounds just started melting away.

Due to the extra energy I have gained, I have been able to be more active than ever. In addition to traditional exercising, I have sought out opportunities each day to burn extra calories by doing more things like yard work, household chores, taking walks in the park, and playing in the backyard with my kids. The gains I experienced in weight loss and increased energy gave me confidence to step out of my comfort zone and sign up for a group boot camp exercise class and my first 5K mud run. Although I was losing weight on my own, the boot camp class helped increase my endurance and strength, which I needed to overcome the obstacles that I faced during the 5K. That same confidence is what kept me in the 5K after my running partner backed out at the last minute. Had this occurred before the Healthy Loser competition started, I would have quit, too. But I knew how hard I had been working during this competition to become healthier and more physically fit. I wanted to show myself that I was physically and mentally strong enough to finish the 5K. It was amazing to cross the finish line, and I am eager for more challenges in the future.

If losing weight, developing a healthy diet, and gaining energy and confidence were not enough, I also significantly lowered my blood pressure (112/68). I am proud of my accomplishments and will continue to lose weight and reap the benefits of a healthier lifestyle. This was truly a lifestyle change. Thank you, Healthy Loser, for giving me the motivation to begin this life-changing process!

-Heather Tolles, July 2013

I have a serious food addiction. I’m one of those who spent the first decade or so of my addiction denying that food addiction was even a real thing. About 11 years ago I “overcame” it. I lost weight and kept it off, even through my last pregnancy. But about two years after losing the weight I convinced myself that food was no longer a problem for me so I could allow myself to eat certain things again…now that I was no longer an addict! I should have spoken with a recovering alcoholic or drug addict before I decided I had “overcome” my addiction. It has been the most emotionally trying 9 ½ years of my life just trying to get back to a healthy lifestyle. And that’s how I believe weight loss has to be approached. It’s a lifestyle, not some diet or supplement program that will keep me healthy for life. It’s a whole new way of seeing food and using food that helps. It’s exercising knowing you are going to live like this forever and not just until the “contest” is over. I still have issues with food. I am an emotional eater…I eat when I’m happy, celebrating, sad, depressed, angry…and so on. I still get to the end of a long work-week and feel I “deserve” to go out to eat. I need to reprogram my brain to find different rewards for a job well done. I believe in juicing to “reboot” my body and I believe whole grains, fruit and veggies are the way we were designed to eat…no matter how physically active we are.

The 12 Step program of AA says we “Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” The 12 steps include many other steps that reveal our need to depend on “God as we understand Him” rather than remain dependent upon our “drug” of choice. So I put my spiritual health up on my list of priorities and I hopped on my bicycle to go to work. (picture a near 300lb woman huffing and puffing uphill to work every day) I work a split shift so I was bicycling 4 times daily and traveling a total of 13miles a day. The next week I started to ride my bike to the gym as well. By my fourth week, I was cycling 75-80 miles per week and working out anywhere from 15-25 hours at the gym.

None of this was easy…but after day one every day got easier. I remember at one point during my 3rd week I just about broke out into tears wondering when riding my bicycle would stop being so challenging. That was the last time I ever felt overly challenged. Now I love it and can’t do it enough!

Unfortunately at the beginning of the fifth week I broke out with Shingles. I still rode my bicycle to work. (I still worked because I needed the distraction from the pain AND from the temptation to eat for purely emotional reasons.) But my Shingles didn’t last as long as usual and I got back on track.

My most amazing moment? I couldn’t run for more than 10 seconds…literally. One day I hopped on a treadmill and just tried to run…at only 3.7mph…but I did it for 12 minutes without stopping. I couldn’t believe it. As I walked out of the gym I saw people like me (30lbs ago) walking briskly on their treadmills and I was immediately overwhelmed with a thought… “I have arrived”, I thought. “I have joined an elite group of healthy people who actually run / jog for exercise. I literally started crying when I stepped out of the gym and was sobbing for joy when I recounted my accomplishment to my husband and 16year old son. They were laughing at me and I know I made a spectacle of myself but for someone who has NEVER been able to run (not even when I was an athlete) this was the accomplishment of a lifetime. A couple of weeks later I was able to run for 2miles without stopping. I don’t work on keeping my mph consistent…I work on keeping my heart rate in a certain zone. As my heart gets stronger I need to increase my speed to stay in that target zone for me. I started jogging at 3.7mph and am up to 4.5mph now. I love being able to run and ride a bicycle.

I wish I could say that I’ve come farther than I have, but the truth is I was so disappointed that I only lost 20% in 3months. I know I could have done better and I really want to join the next contest but I don’t know when I can afford it. But I’m not done yet. I am going to “eat to live rather than live to eat”. And when I do, I want to help others no matter how much of myself I have to give. They are worth it. It is horrible being obese and doesn’t get easier with time.
There is so much more to my story, but I plan to win the next contest I join and I will tell the rest of the story at the finish line.

My strategy is simply this:
1) I have devoted at least a small part of my day to spiritual health and wellness.
2) I have decided to use food as fuel (except for PLANNED “vacation” days.)
3) I decided to move my body…like using my bike as often as possible instead of my car…even to bike to the gym.

Jessica F.
Benton Harbor, MI
8/2/2013

My journey for this transformation challenge was a difficult one. Recently buying a house, being diagnosed with Celiacs Disease, having more complications with Ulcerative Colitis, losing my job, and getting married all weighed heavily on me over the last 12 weeks. I’ve had to completely change the way I eat and sometimes, more often than not, I grew frustrated. With all the changes going on it was very difficult to stay focused on the task at hand. But then I remembered, I started this challenge for ME. I can control what I put in my body and I can control how I use my body to its fullest. Every time I found myself off track I would tell myself “Stacey, get out of your own way and let the real you shine through!” I know who I really am, who I’m meant to be, and who I will always see myself as. I cannot keep letting my situations dictate how my body feels and looks. I owe it to myself to be the best me and to treat myself the best. Because, in reality, enough people criticize us! We need to fight for US! WE need to be on OUR side! WE need to be our biggest fan! At the end of the day the only person we need to be better than is the person we were yesterday. The only person we are competing against is the one staring back at us in the mirror. Each day I can look at myself and remind myself of how far I’ve come it gives me that much more power to push through and make more changes. The best thing about the changes showing on the outside is gaining the curiosity of others. Their curiosity helps me to motivate, inspire, and direct them in ways that they too can change their life in for a better quality one!

Stacey Turmell, July 28, 2013

Hello I am Angela and I joined Healthy Loser for a number of reasons. I was once over 300 pounds and was that way for a decade of my life and accepted that as a fact of who I was and that I couldn’t change… several different reasons.. my thyroid etc. I just didn’t know any better. I was never taught how to eat properly. I was just clueless and I was in the hospital all the time and sick all the time. Well my mom got breast cancer ( I was clueless about cancer also). I started reading books about nutrition and lifestyle and curing cancer anything and everything really. I was trying to save my mom. Something changed in me and I somehow became a different person.. kind of who I wanted to be and I learned a lot. I went down to about 185. But my mom died and well i sort of lost myself… and when i say that.. I mean everything about myself. I was lost… and I gained weight. But not so much i didn’t go over 215.

I somehow gained some sanity back and snapped out of it and got back on the wagon i once was on. So I got down to 180 for the first time ever. But my life was still chaos, I just was trying to keep myself together and was still effected by my mother being gone, and I lost more family members to cancer, death was around me, and on top of that I had to deal with things happening to me in my life and I met my wonderful guy in the midst of all this and I am still with him. I had been steadily gaining weight. So here I am at 249 pounds and I am about to go to a big family wedding and im am about to meet my guy’s family for the first time and I was depressed. I wanted to lose weight before this happened. I really don’t know how I gained this weight, I eat healthier than I ever have and somehow it just happened… I really think it was emotional and stress. Also my body just don’t feel right my job I have now is really hard on my body and I cant even bend well and my weight is probably part of it as well, I just didn’t feel good. I really wanted to win this competition and it helped me get motivated and everyone was so wonderful on Healthy Loser and that helped me as well.

When I started I was doing amazing the first month and second. I cut back and went to the gym religiously. I cut portions, i cut out bread but not completely(sometimes I would have a sandwich on whole wheat). I was trying to break down the months differently so I could consistently lose weight. The next month was no carbs and getting closer to the wedding I seemed more stressed and wasn’t losing and it didn’t exactly go as planned. I was trying to do a liquid diet the last month and it just didn’t happen. But I also had alot of going on the last month, wedding and all.And this time around losing weight seemed harder for me.

But long story short I did lose weight. I lost 16.99 percent! Which is wonderful I don’t want to be over 300 pounds ever again. And I feel better. I learned a lot about my body this time around. I went to the wedding and felt good about myself. I came back from the wedding on the day I had to weigh in . I don’t want to keep going through this I want to have a balanced lifestyle and just be healthy. I plan to do the competition again and get somewhere I never been and that’s a bikini! I know its a big goal for me. But I’m going to try a different approach and I want to get there. I want to live a long healthy life. My eyes are open and I see things differently now and healthy loser contributed to my vision. I want to thank everyone for this opportunity and motivation. Angela:) July 31, 2013

3rd place $500 Cash Winner of the January 2013 round.
I participated in the January 2012 contest and lost 86lbs. However, my competitive spirit and lack of long term focus distracted me from what was most important which is my health and well being. This year I decided I would enter again with a different approach. This year I entered with the same competitive spirit, but focused more on my health and long term well being. I was able to lose 29% and as I write this my health and weight is still a high priority each and every day. The key to my success was the same as last year. The areas that at key in a successful weight loss plan are water consumption, calorie intake (type of calories are important), exercise, and advocare vitamins and protein shakes were a big key for me. I look forward to continuing this lifestyle. I hope this will help others meet their goals.

Kirk Cupp
Jan 2013 3rd place
Paragould, AZ

2nd place $1,500 Cash Winner from January 2013 round.
When I entered this competition, I knew I would need a good plan, accountability, and support from those around me. I was 207 lbs, 5’5” tall, and had a BMI of 34.4, so the motivation part was easy.

My plan included eating no processed foods—nothing from a box or can—and no ingredients that weren’t in that state in nature. I ate only whole grains that were unprocessed, fresh fruits and vegetables in as raw a state as possible, legumes, healthy fats, and meats with as little processing as possible. I knew I needed lots of protein and tried to eat a minimum of 80gms a day. The last month, I was eating closer to 120gms of protein daily in the form of fish, chicken breasts, Greek yogurt and egg whites. Most days, I ate well under 1000 calories a day. I didn’t feel hungry or tired due to the superior quality of my diet. Everything I ate was full of nutrients and there were no empty calories at all.

I began my exercise plan by lots of slow walking as I had been quite sedentary. The 1st week I walked 10 miles; the 2nd week I walked 35 miles and added a tiny bit of elliptical and stationary bike workouts. I added aerobic workouts on dvd in the 3rd week and joined a gym. I usually exercised between 14 and 20 hours a week over the course of the competition. I am astounded at the changes in my cardiovascular fitness after 13 weeks of exercise! I have come a long way from the couch potato of January.

Accountability was important to my success. Every week, I posted on facebook my weight loss and how many hours I exercised. I created graphs on which to plot my exercise activities and weight loss. I also used a web site to track all my calories so I knew exactly what I was eating. I planned to post on facebook my before and after photos at the end of the competition and I knew that would be painful if my after pictures didn’t reflect a major change. I told everyone I knew, and some I didn’t, that I had entered this competition. This kept me accountable for my progress, provided incentive to keep going on days when I struggled, and also provided a great deal of unexpected support.

I enlisted my family in supporting me through the dietary changes this would entail. I am the mother of 10 children and I needed the adult children to encourage me and not bring me goodies. I needed the minor children to not whine at the meal changes. They ate what I ate, albeit a lot more of it. I found frequent notes of encouragement on the fridge and shared a hilarious hour with 2 teenage sons while they cheerfully did a Richard Simmons workout with me. My husband was also supportive and did his best not to undermine the process by bringing home junk food. I few times I panicked at hitting a plateau or feeling like I wasn’t losing enough weight. Healthy Loser’s people, Dave and Kathy, were so helpful and gave me excellent tips. Kathy’s suggestion to increase protein and change to high intensity interval training really increased the amount of weight I was losing. Dave reassured me that I had plenty of time to fix things. My facebook friends cheered every victory, consoled me when I was wanting to eat for emotional reasons, and a few friends and family began their own weight-loss programs as they saw my successes.

At the end of the competition, I lost 68.6 lbs in 91 days. I weigh 138.4 lbs and lost 33.14% of my weight, with a final BMI of 23.1. I turned 49 during the competition, and I can attest that it doesn’t matter who tells you that weight loss is more difficult at my age or that it is harder when you are a woman. You can do whatever you are willing to pay the price to achieve. Thank you Healthy Loser!

Heather Blashill Amarillo Texas, May 8, 2013

My weight challenge started January 14, 2013. I was determined that I was going to lose a lot of weight, as I, like everyone else in the contest, wanted to win. I have had a weight problem basically my whole life. I had several methods I could try but I decided to have two protein shakes a day and one meal. I have had my ups and downs during this challenge. I work one full time job and two part time jobs so eating right was a bit of a chore. Do to time constraints, I cannot join a gym so I walked whenever I could. The challenge certainly kept my mind on the ultimate goal more than if I was just trying without it. I would walk two miles and I would also try and incorporate a light jog during my walks. It was a real struggle at times and I would like to have walked more than I did. My son was also very encouraging to me during the three months and would walk with me when he could. I also had a friend that I would call which makes you more accountable. I do think that I should have lost more than I did due to the way I ate, compared to the way I used to. This is somewhat disappointing. Although I feel that I will not win the transformation contest, I must say that due to being in the contest, I stayed more focused and honest in my eating.

Terri-Jo Gallagher

Weight Challenge essay 4/14/13

My Experience of the Women’s Transformation Contest

At the beginning of this year, I wanted to start feeling better about myself. I am a now a 34 year-old woman who is in decent shape. I have no major ailments or illnesses nor have I had any accidents that would cause a need for surgery. I am a wife, a sister, a daughter, a friend, a coworker but not a mother yet but hope to be soon.

I was tired of feeling bad and self-conscious about my weight. I know that I should feel confident in everyday life but wasn’t. The majority of my weight gain in 2012 was due to drinking alcohol in excess. It is easy to find something like a glass of wine, or even a bottle, at the end of the day to numb feelings of regrets that I have daily about life or how the work day went. But it is not healthy to do so.

I decided to join this challenge to stop this bad habit and it did help. Now, I did not lose 30 pounds but 12 is nothing to be ashamed about. I feel more in control of things, my clothes fit better and my relationship with my husband is more solid without quarrels about my alcohol intake. It is weird to think that a small little challenge like this can make changes, either tiny or significant, in your life. It can make you ponder why you eat unhealthy things when you are upset or drink at the end of the day when that really only depresses you more.

I know I could have lost more weight with more discipline but I have accomplished something in these past 90 days. I know that I can change things in my life at any time, and with little effort. Thank you for creating this challenge and for helping motivate others to better themselves.

Mary Simmons April 16, 2013

Healthy Loser Transformation Contest,

By Laura Reiss

The initial start on my weight loss journey was at the realization that my life was slipping through my fingers. I was never skinny, but suddenly I was having difficulty fitting into my “big” clothes, I was having difficulty doing simple activities that I used to think were easy, and I was finding excuses to not socialize with friends. I finally looked in the mirror and decided I needed to change now!

I started looking on-line for ways to motivate myself when I came across the Healthy Loser’s Website. I have a natural competitive nature and this contest became an inspiration to be strong and start getting healthy. I joined Weight Watchers to learn about healthy way to not only track the food I eat but make smart healthy food decisions. I also jointed a gym (You Fit) in order to have regular activity, to boost my metabolism, and start strengthening my muscles as I lose weight. Unfortunately, I quickly learned that I needed more help. I hired a personal trainer at my gym, and this turned out to be one of my happiest decisions. My trainer Don has been a motivating coach; to not only push me to work harder when we are together but to keep me working towards my goal when I am on my own.

At the start of my Journey I weighed 241.4 lbs. Today I weight 217.2 lb. Not only have I been losing fat but gaining muscle. I feel stronger and healthier then I have in years. But while I have lost more than 10% of my body weight, I still have a long way to my goal weight. I intend to lose more than a hundred pounds. I will not stop my transformation till I reach my healthy weight range (115-140 lbs). I want to be able to participate in life, not just watch it go by!

April 18, 2013

My name is Melody and three years ago I took custody of my granddaughter. I quit smoking so I could live long enough to raise her. From there I began to gain more and more weight until I had reached 270 lbs and I knew I had to do something about it. I found the Healthy Loser contest I was very excited to enter the October 2012 round. Although I didn’t even come close to winning a prize, I lost 30 lbs and I began to learn how to make changes for a healthy lifestyle. I gained back 18 lbs over Christmas, but I got back on that horse and I entered the next round; both the Main challenge and the Women’s Only Transformation Challenge.

The first round I suffered a knee injury and I could do very little exercise, but I stuck to a healthy diet. This round my knee is better and I have been working out 2.5 hours, 4 days per week at the gym and pool. I do my round on the weight equipment, then I do 35 minutes on the treadmill at a 12 incline so that I really get my heart pumping and burn the fat. After the treadmill I do 100 sit-ups before heading to the pool to swim 500 Metres.

Although on the scale I haven’t lost a huge amount of weight in this last round, my body has changed immensely!! I am down from a size 6X to a 2X between the two rounds and the cost to participate is way cheaper than hiring a personal trainer. I can bend down and tie my shoes and I can get down on the ground to play with my granddaughter.

I still have a ways to go, but I haven’t given up and I am entering the Healthy Loser challenge again this round. Whether you win a cash prize or not, the contest has been hugely inspirational to me. It has gotten my competitive juices running, and it helps to keep me in check so I stay on track. The whole family has gotten into a fitness routine, and I cook amazing meals now consisting of lean meats, veggies and fruits, and rarely serve sides such as potatoes, rice and pasta anymore. Just a simple change from my traditional old way of cooking to a new, refreshing, and healthy way of cooking has made a huge difference to my health and the health of my whole family.

I am very grateful to have found the Healthy Loser challenge which has been the inspiration behind my weight loss and I look forward to continuing my journey in this contest. I tell everybody about this contest everywhere I go. Total strangers at the gym give me a high five!! I haven’t given up going for the gold, but the best prize of all is the new person I see in the mirror and a healthy new me for both myself and my family!!

April 22, 2013.

Transformation Contestant Jan. 2013.
I have struggled with weight loss most of my life, but more so in the past 10 years. My weight loss journey began a year and a half ago, and I have currently lost 65lbs over all. Losing weight has helped me in all aspects of my life. I not only feel better and look better, I have more confidence then I have ever had in my life. My weight loss gave me the confidence to join an organization I have been passionate about for many years, but have not allowed myself to be a part of because I didn’t want to be in the spotlight because of my size. Weight loss also gave me the courage to change jobs, which has been the best move I could make for my family. My overall well being has improved from my weight loss.
Making exercise and healthy food choices have been the key to my success. Realizing the portions I should eat and the amount of exercise I needed per week has been crucial in my weight loss.
I would love to encourage others to decide to live healthier. The battle is not weight loss. Weight loss is the wonderful outcome of living healthy, however it is not the battle. The battle is going to exercise when we feel like we NEED to be doing anything but, or we just feel like watching TV. The battle is deciding to eat an apple instead of a piece of apple pie. Every walk you go on, every time you don’t give into a craving, you have won a battle. And with every battle you win, you will be closer to your goal – The goal of living healthy – not just being a certain weight or a certain size. Thank you healthy loser for the incentive! I wish good luck to everyone who continue to work to gain a healthier you!

Ashley Cupp April 16th 2013.

Winner of 1st transformation Contest.
CONTESTANT BARI SMITH 235.6lbs to 214.4lbs
I’ve always been a competitive person that loves to challenge myself, so when I
saw Healthy Losers Women Transformation contest I knew it was the perfect
opportunity for me to get my health on track and once and for all reach my fitness
and weight loss goals. Once I joined the contest I was confident that I would
make some changes in my eating habits and try to exercise more, but I never
expected to have such a total transformation in myself. This contest has made
me a stronger, fitter, healthier and all around happier woman! Not only did I lose
8.92% of my weight, I also made huge advancements in my workout abilities. As
a member at CrossFit West Springfield, I went from not being able to do any box
jumps to doing 100 in one workout, from having my shoulders be the weakest
muscle in my body to being able to push press 95lbs over my head, and from
barely making it through a daily workout to competing in the CrossFit Open.
While participating in the Women’s Transformation Challenge, I also wanted to
try and make an impact in not only my own fitness and health but also in my
friends and families. I encouraged one of my friends who had never been a
runner to take up a run/walk program with me and together we completed
100miles, culminating in running the Rock N Roll Washington, D.C. Half
Marathon on March 16, 2013! This competition has truly taught me that being
healthy is not just about forcing yourself to do a month diet or two-week exercise
video, it’s about making a decision to be the best version of yourself and
permanently transform your lifestyle. Thank you Health Loser, I couldn’t be
happier with the confidence I’ve gained, the body I’ve earned and overall success
I’ve had through competing in this challenge!

Transformation contestant January 2013

Being 61 years old, the hardest thing for me all my life has been control of my weight. When I was youngit was a piece of cake, but as I have grown older the weight is attached to me. I couldn’t seem to get it off, or will power was not a part of my inner soul.

I have entered many contests to no avail. I would lose, and the weight would come right back on. This transition contest gave me the incentive I needed to learn what my issues are, and to move forward to a healthier lifestyle.

The most important thing I learned was that I had to eat three healthy meals a day, beginning with breakfast. So many people said, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” I was never an early morning eater so this lesson I put to good use. I finally realized that it is so true. I would start my day out with a healthy breakfast of protein shakes or eggs. My day would begin.

Exercise became a ritual for me. I now have a treadmill, elliptical, and weights and at 5am I am in my homemade garage gym and I am starting my day with 45 minutes of exercise and strength training. On the weekends I walk a minimum of 5 miles a day.

Learning to eat and take care of my body has me on the right track to a healthier life. My main motivation in this contest was my four grandchildren. They are the reason I wake up to a new and beautiful day. I want to see their future and the only way I can do that is to get healthy for THEM. I have lost almost 35 pounds through this awesome contest and I am well on my way to losing another 65. I will do it and Healthy Loser has given me the kick start I so badly needed. Thank you for the opportunity!

Kriss Johnson

Snellville, GA

Contestant from January 21, 2013

My journey started a little over a year ago , at 266 lbs.I joined a weight lose contest at the local school. Sounded like a lot of fun and i needed something to help me and keep me motivated. I used the Weight Watchers plan and walked with my mom every day.(about all i could do for exercise at 266 lbs ) I really came to enjoy walking and the time spent with my mom. The contest ended up being a lot of fun and seemed to be just the motivation i needed. I did not know that i was so competitive before this. I won the contest not a big prize but i was hooked! I had lost 50 lbs and felt fantastic and I wanted more and still needed to lose more. The school was not doing another so i went cyber and found Healthy Loser. I knew that with the number of contestants it was going to be hard but i was up to and needed the challenge. So i knew i would have to step it up so i joined a gym that i had used in the past and really enjoyed (Less Mills) they have really fun and hard classes and i stepped up my walks doing a challenging 8 mile walk up and down big hills. Trying to do this 3 days a week or more, weather and time permitting. I also mixed some cardio dancing, yoga, even a little tyo-bo just for fun. I pushed myself a little harder on my workouts, its amazing how much more workout you get with the same work out when you push just a little harder. For diet I did weight watchers and vi-shakes. I would eat good clean food, lots of water, following weight watchers plan and when i got on a plateau i tried the body by vi shake plan and it helped. Changing it up helped me get over the plateau. Some of the best advice i have acquired on my journey (all number one because all equally important).
(1) Find an eating plan you can live with (we are all different) I like weight watchers because you’re not restricted for anything, you just need to stay in a point range. I keep nutrition bars in my car for a quick lunch. (no excuse to stop at a fast food place because you forgot your lunch) Soup is an easy and low cal lunch and can be kept in your car.
(1) Find something you enjoy doing for exercise and try new things. You may find you love it, stick with it and its amazing how fast you get stronger !
(1) WATER,WATER,WATER..cant express how important WATER is. If there was a magic pill, this is it!
(1) Consistency; it wont happen over nite but just think how fast the last year went by and what you could accomplish or not in that time. You will have bad weeks when you work hard and it does not show up on the scales, but keep going because it will catch up.
(1) mental…think of the whys …why are you doing this ? write them down and when having a hard time read them..this works for me every time …another thing i like to do is shop at thrift stores for the next size down and try them on weekly…What a feeling when they fit and you have to shop for yet the next size down..
(1) Find that motivation or drive..For me it is this contest. I need something to drive me and this works. It has changed my life i went from 266 lbs depressed, drinking,eating,not moving much yo yo dieting and ending up heaver each time ..Now Ive lost over 100 lbs and hate it when i have to miss a workout eating clean food and feeling so much healthier (looking hot for my age) And the next leg of my journey is training to be a Less Mills trainer!! And helping friends and family to live longer and happier lives. Thank you Healthy loser for walking with me on this journey…Deanna


3rd Place Winner October 2012-January 2013

My weight loss story is pretty simple:
I had always been the skinniest girl around, until I started gaining weight in my late twenties. I guess I did not have enough self-discipline, because I kept giving in to my food cravings and my major sweet tooth. After entering the contest I made an emphasis on eating super healthy , organic food and I exercised like crazy. On top of having a personal trainer, I signed up to the second gym to have more time flexibility. Since I was not that much overweight to start with, it became an uphill battle in the final weeks. I never worked this hard in my life; however, I really enjoyed the experience. And I can’t describe how much I enjoyed looking at myself in the mirror!!!!

Olena Kryzhanivska from Fairfield, Connecticut February 7, 2013

2nd Place Winner.

Hi! Wow!!!! OMG!!!! I won 2nd place!!!!

Here is my story/strategy:

Right before starting this weight loss challenge, my friend asked me to start working out with her at her gym. I couldn’t say no as I desperately need to lose weight. We became workout buddies and set up a time to work out every morning. It was hard to get up extra early to go to the gym but it was always the best way to start out the day and worth it physically and mentally. I would have energy the rest of the day! Not right away, but soon I did.

The weight I lost was by eating right most of the time and working out. Nothing I did was extreme.

Eating: During the contest I mostly kept my carbs low. For example I ate lots of eggs, chicken, tuna fish, veggies, nuts, and for dessert sometimes I would eat yogurt with a 90 calorie fiber brownie. Sometimes I would have a real dessert that my husband would bring home from our local bakery but I would make sure to divide the piece of dessert into several tiny containers and put them in the freezer. For example a lemon bar from the bakery would last me 5 or 7 days. If we ate out, I would split food with my husband. I drank lots of water (I love water so that wasn’t a problem at all) and had one caffeinated diet drink in the morning called Celsius that would curb my appetite. One other main food that helped me lose this weight was kale chips that I made. I started using a dehydrator and would take kale, put some seasonings on it all lay it all in the dehydrator and the next day have deliciously tasting veggie kale chips from the dehydrator (they can be baked in the oven too but they aren’t as good). Everyone at work thought I turned into a bunny rabbit the way I ate this kale all the time. The kale is extremely filling and healthy! It is so good that my husband who hates veggies is addicted to my kale chips. I’m still making batches all the time. They are the guiltless snack I can eat all day without affecting weight loss negatively.

I would also stop eating by 6pm, sometimes 7pm. Eating late is my enemy and would always affect me negatively in many ways the next day, so I stopped doing that when I entered this contest.

Working out: I would work out with my friend on the elliptical and/or treadmill for an hour in the morning. No running, jogging or anything hard. Just enough force to keep my heart rate up and sweat. I would walk on the treadmill at 3mph but put the setting on a hilly/sloping setting. In the afternoon I would go for a 3 mile walk around town that involved several small hills. I am a firm believer in walking to lose weight. It works.

That’s what I did to lose over 67 pounds in the 91 day weight loss challenge. Ate simple foods and kept active.

Jen Strande
Snohomish, WA July 22, 2012

3rd place winner/2012

All my life I’ve been a big guy. My childhood meals consisted of high carb, low nutrition and oversized portions. I was never pushed to be active and gravitated towards video games and snacking as my favorite pass times. This lifestyle stayed with me into adulthood. I tried several times to change only to fail every time. Gym memberships and even the loss of my father through the same sedentary lifestyle that I grew up with weren’t enough to get me to change my life for the better. Finally I had my daughter and through a couple years of the same old thing I came to realize I needed to change. My body was starting to break down. I couldn’t stay awake. I would fall asleep as soon as I sat down to relax after work. I would feel pains in several areas of my body that could no longer be ignored.

I joined a gym for the third time but decided this was my last chance to make sure I did something about myself to ensure I was around to see my daughter grow up. I started by doing mainly only cardio for a few weeks but kept the same eating habits. Soon after I joined the gym my wife found Healthy Loser and after some self-doubt I decided to take the challenge. I always enjoyed competition and use that as a tool to keep myself motivated. Once I joined Healthy Loser I decided to kick up the workouts a bit and change my eating habits. I decided to cut out most carbs and increase my intake of fresh veggies and lean protein. About 2 weeks into the competition I found a group on-line that focused on healthy lifestyle and support. They feature a nutrition program that after some skepticism I decided to try. The program made it easy for me to take in the nutrition my body needed to help me push harder in my workouts and to also build lean muscle. Any question I had they answered. For instance, I wasn’t sure of the best thing to do at the gym to keep the weight coming off. They helped me out. No matter what I was going through they had positive and sound advice. I did my own research on nutrition and exercise and everything I found matched up with what the group told me. They helped me out so much and kept me motivated.

This was a difficult thing for me to do but I made it through. I was always a person who needed instant gratification which was a main reason for my several failed attempts at weight loss. Through the course of the competition my goal shifted from money to a long term lifestyle change. I could have burnt myself out to shred even more weight but I have bigger goals. Now that the competition is done I will continue to develop my diet and exercise program and work towards a healthier lifestyle. I have more weight loss goals to achieve and I can’t help but feel that this will be a part of me forever. I am in the culinary profession and I am become more physically active every day. I believe my future is involved in both and when I achieve my physical goals I know I can achieve my goals in the professional field.
My experience with Healthy Loser has been great and I hope more people use this as a tool to better themselves as well as win a competition. Anyone interested in networking on Facebook to better themselves I will be more than happy to help in any way I can. Thank you Healthy Loser.

Christopher McCollum July 22, 2012

I apologize for the delay, however it has been very busy with work. Below are the ingredients of my success.

My weight loss plan had 3 steps. However, before I could implement the plan I had to prepare mentally and believe in my ability to overcome my own mind.

The first step to my plan was calorie reduction and monitoring. I was only able to eat a maximum of 1200 calories a day, but most days less than 1000. The key is gradually scaling back your caloric intake.

The second step was exercise. I exercised at least 5 days a week, but many weeks I went all 7 days. The key to exercise is heart rate. I burned anywhere from 750-1000 calories a day.

Finally, the 3rd step was water consumption. Water is vital in a good diet. It helps flush the toxins out of your system that store fat.

The challenge was good for motivation. The only regret I have is that I took a week long trip to Bahamas in march! That week I only lost 2 pounds and if I had lost my average of 6-7 I would be giving the testimony of the 1st place winner. Congratulations to all of those who competed and had success. My biggest success is that my wife competed as well and met her goal so I’m proud of her.

Let me know if you need anything else.

Kirk (May 3, 2012)

This weight loss challenge gave me the confidence that I can do anything if I put my mind on it.
Going from x-large shirt to medium has been a big deal for me as it has been going from size 36 pants/jeans to size 32. This is what kept me going. Now I enjoy running outdoors and lifting weights. In fact I registered for my first 10K in Toronto for May 13 and I think that I’m ready for it.

I feel more strengh, more energy, and I feel that I can accomplish more every day as long as I do a good workout in the morning. My motivation score is 10/10.

This challenge also made me change my eating habits. I read nutrition labels now and I check the number of calories and fat content in foods which I did not do before the challenge. I am drinking 10 glasses of water a day!

I’m very happy with my progress. I may have not won $5000 but losing 36 pounds had made a big difference in my life. In my mind, I’m still a big winner…. the only down side is that now I have to spend money to buy new clothes 🙂 🙂 🙂

Thank you

Carlos (April 20, 2012)

Hi Dave!
It was great to meet you and your wife today
, and I want to say thank you for what you’re doing. You’re giving a lot of people an opportunity to live healthier lives, and I agree the incentive makes all the difference too!. I know you’re going to continue to do really well with this.
I’m sure I’ll be in touch for some tips!
Take care. Thanks again!
Elaine (Jan. 15, 2011)

Hi Dave,
After the end of week 3, I have now lost 25 pounds!!! I am so excited. Eating right and exercising are really starting to pay off!
Thanks again for the inspiration!
Jeff
Thank you so much you guys!!! Without you getting the ball rolling, this would not have happened. Thanks for helping me get my life back on track.
I’ll be in touch when I lose more. Jeff (Feb. 7, 2011)

Hi Dave,
I can’t believe we’re almost one week away!!

It’s been an amazing journey and would like to thank you for this program and all your support!
Jennifer (April 5, 2011)

I just finished the contest (Red Deer) and wanted to leave some feedback. I think this contest is an EXCELLENT motivator. Unfortunately I didn’t do as well as I had all planned out do to circumstances during that time period, but being in the contest made me aware everyday of trying to make healthier choices. I even learned to like/enjoy salads 🙂
My only suggestion would be to run a contest early spring/summer as I found with having a new baby that winter & snow caused me to stay indoors ALOT. I think as soon as actual spring hits people become more aware of having to & wanting to fit into smaller clothing (shorts, skirts, tanks, swim suits, etc) plus it would be nice enough outside that people could go for walks. I know summer time people are busy but they are also more conscious of how they look in clothing. Winter you can just throw on a big sweater to hide things. APRIL would be an excellent time to start a contest.
Overall it win or lose, it motivated me & has changed a lot of my bad habits. I would do it again in a heartbeat. Susanne (April 20, 2011)

I used a web-site “caloriecount.about.com” to create a profile and keep an on-line journal of my eating, exercising and weight loss.
I basically made sure that each day my intake was less than my output.
I have a big calendar and I wrote down my weight every 2 or 3 days and crossed the days off in a count down to the finale.
(I have since picked another “final weigh-in day” for myself and am counting down again)
I made sure that everybody I had daily contact with knew what I was doing so that they could encourage me and help keep me focused.
I afforded eating out at all costs. (It was just too hard in the first few months for me to resist temptation)
I went to the gym 7 – 9 times a week and hit the treadmill (or indoor track) for 5 to 10 kilometers.
I would ride the bike for 30 minutes and I went to a Zumba fit class once a week.
Wearing a pedometer every day helped me stay focused on the minimum steps required each day to reach my goals. (10,000=5 K)
I took no supplements or meal replacements.
Nothing too fancy, just plain old focusing on a goal and being accountable to myself.
Cheers, and thanx again for the motivation., Jo (April 30, 2011)

Awe thanks Dave!!
I have to tell you I’m already down 22 lbs, I hired a personal trainer and have been working with him 4 times a week already. My son is graduating June 3rd and my motivation was to feel better, look better, and be healthy enough for his University grad next, so your challenge is an added bonus and WHEN I win it will be a great trip for my two son’s and I before he leaves for University 🙂
The added motivation is fantastic, it has my chiropractor, my trainer, my sons and I all very excited to see it through.
Thanks again!!!, Liane ( March 26, 2011)

Good morning David how are you?
here is my doctor sheet info,
helhtyloser change my life Man, I feel so good, now with my lose weight
and I will like to host a contest here in Dallas, I think we can easily get the 300 contestants here
and I will like to use my self as and example that anybody can lose weight with this contest
I am a website Administrator for Peaches Uniforms www.peachesuniforms.com
I also do wedding photography on the weekends,
usually I run Google adwords campaigns for my company, I might run some for the contest as well
hey you should make a contest with the top 10 winners to see who will retain the weight on the next
three months or something like that
what do you think?
have a nice day, Guillermo (June 23, 2011)

Although my entire lifestyle has changed because of this contest, I am mindful of what I eat and excercise everyday, I have only lost 10 lbs and so I won’t bother to show up for the weigh in. I do have to chaperone a Grad event here in town all day, so I guess things worked out anyway.
My 10 lb loss has come with the huge loss of unhealthy beliefs about my body. I feel and look 100% better and wake up everyday looking forward to the changes that I can sometimes see daily in my body. For that I would like to sincerely thank the organizers of this contest because if I had not been encouraged to join, I would not have started on this journey.
The money prize would have been wonderful as I am trying to find a way to send my oldest daughter on an exchange to Germany this summer, but I will definately settle for the prize in my new and always improving body.
Thanks again, and I will probably see you at another contest in the future.
Sincerely, Shelley (June 24, 2011)

Good afternoon David,
Please find attached the final document and pictures as required (and a few extras).
I just wanted to thank you once again for doing what you do!!! The last 3 months have been incredible and challenging, but each time I wanted to “not hit the gym” the reminder of your contest was always there as added motivation!!!
In the last 3 months, I may have only lost 38.40 pounds, BUT I have gone from a size 24 to a current size 14 and have lost a total of 28 inches (8.5 in the chest, 10.5 in the waist and 9 in the hips) all without losing any muscle strength, and what I find most exciting is that I am LIFTING again!! I haven’t lifted weights in over 20 years and now I’m back up to a 185 pound bench press (see pictures attached) and am getting ready to compete again either in August 2011 or May 2012 at the latest!!!
Looking at some of your past winners, I’m sure I’m a long way from top dog, but I still wanted to submit my final results (although they are FAR from final, another 3 months will be exciting again) and THANK YOU AGAIN!!!!
Keep up great motivation
Warm regards, Liane (June 24, 2011)

Hello Nancy,
90 challenging days
, tough and hard many times – interesting nonetheless!
Although I’m happy with it (I’m still bit ‘off’ my goal; and as I’d really enjoyed the challenge of not only weight loss but lifestyle and fitness improvements – will surely be in touch with you guys when I’m ready to take on the challenge again)!
Thanks to you, Dave & the whole team for this opportunity! Helina (July 5, 2011)

Thank you for this motivating contest and I am satisfied with the outcome!! -Lynn (July 8, 2011)

Thanks for putting on the competition I didn’t lose as much as I had hoped but put on a lot of muscle so it wasn’t a bad trade off. But the competition got me to the gym and put me down the right path again so thank you for that. Have a great night! Wade (July 9, 2011)

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