32. Shape a new body. Watching a bodybuilding competition on TV 20 years ago spurred Sharon Turrentine—who had not exercised in years—to head for the gym. “Five pounds was the most that I could lift when I started,” recalls Sharon, 55. “Now I bench-press more than 100 pounds.”
Within 3 years, Sharon dropped four dress sizes. The person who’d once undressed in her closet decided to show off her 5’2″, 109-pound body in competition. Over the years, she’s brought home 15 trophies.[pagebreak]
Binge-Proof Your Life
33. Sip tea to de-stress. While Jeanette Green ate well during the day, as soon as she got home from work, she’d binge—leading to a weight of more than 300 pounds. She finally made a connection between her postwork habit and something from an Overeaters Anonymous meeting she’d once attended: “ ‘If you get your head straight, your body will follow.’ ” The next day, Jeanette brewed a cup of herbal tea as soon as she walked through the door. Then she curled up to relax and recharge. Her teatime became a treasured ritual and stopped the munchies. She took off 140 pounds and has maintained her weight loss for more than 18 years.
34. Nurture yourself without food. Coping with a fractured marriage and a stressful job, Lynne Watson found joy in only one thing: eating. Daily chocolate doughnuts, pizza, and cookies led to a weight of 230 pounds—and a new low: “The way I figured it, I could end my life or take control of it. I decided to grab control.” She ended her marriage, got her bachelor’s degree, and started to feel empowered—and discovered the intense cravings stopped. “As I met new people, I relied on them, not food, for comfort and companionship.” Lynne went on to lose 111 pounds in 4 years.
35. Avoid food pushers. John DeGennaro, a 42-year-old truck driver, traded an alcohol and drug addiction for another one: food. Unhappy with the 232 pounds he was carrying on her 5’2” frame, John sought help from a dietitian and realized that he couldn’t say no. “If I was offered a doughnut at a customer’s office, I’d not only eat two more, but I’d hit every doughnut shop along my route.” His solution? Make deliveries and get back to his truck. This small change, along with getting more exercise, let to a 67-pound loss in two years.
36. Dress for success. Tired of starting every winter with a closetful of clothes that didn’t fit, Julie Portner, 38, took a preemptive strike and signed up for Weight Watchers one fall. With healthy food choices and exercise, as well as monthly weigh-ins, Julie lost 20 pounds in 6 months, and her once too-small winter clothes fit. “I’ve reached a point where my desire to continue fitting into my clothing is stronger than my desire to overeat,” she says.
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