9. Personalize your plan. Dozens of weight loss plans had failed Lisa Douglass, 29, so she created her own. “I decided to be responsible for my choices,” she says. Lisa scoured exercise and nutrition materials, chose the best advice, and developed her own program. She went from 280 pounds to 160 over a 2-year period. “Even though I still make bad choices occasionally, I like the fact that I’m making them,” she says. [pagebreak]
Set the Right Goals
10. Build on success. More than 10 years ago, Marlene Dropp, 54, took her first walk around the block in an effort to lose some of her 200 pounds. She set a goal of 5 miles a day. When she achieved that landmark within 2 months, she came up with a new goal: to cover a mile in 13 minutes. She did that easily and lost 50 pounds in 2 years. Then Marlene began entering racewalking competitions—and had the thrill of completing a marathon for her 51st birthday.
11. Use a symbol. Dinah Burnette, 38, hung an expensive black dress on her closet door. At 245 pounds, she couldn’t even pull it over her hips. “I tried it on every 4 weeks. When I eventually got in it, the buttons were 4 feet apart!” she laughs. One year later and 100 pounds lighter, she fit into the size 12 with room to spare. Ten years later, Dinah still keeps her size 24 dress in the closet as a reminder.
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