Rikki Lowe (Right), 32, and her sister, Beth Wolfe, 40
St. Albans, WV
Family Matter So many events center around food—weddings, holidays, birthdays. Weight loss can feel lonely if you think those occasions have been taken from you and you can't indulge like others. My sister Beth used the a few months before me to track her diet. After I downloaded it, she kept reminding me that nothing was off-limits. She also gave me pointers, like not getting so hungry that I eat a day's worth of calories in one meal. She got me to run my first 5K too.
My sister's support is super important to me, but I also learned that you have to be happy with who you are on your own. A big-picture moment for me was realizing that I am enough, I've always been enough and that has nothing to do with my weight—it comes from learning to love myself.
A Better Track This weight-loss experience was different from other times because I was at a crossroads. I couldn't get through the day without a nap, and I thought I'd be on blood pressure drugs for life. Then my doctor suggested I record everything I ate with Lose It! I set a goal to drop 1.5 pounds per week and had a max of 2,500 calories a day. I had easily been consuming over 3,000 calories before. I learned to choose dishes that actually fill me up, and because I travel a lot for my job, I found better choices on fast-food menus. One of them is McDonald's Egg White Delight McMuffin, which has 250 calories and 17 grams of protein. Now I also have more healthy snacks around the house for myself, my husband and our three kids, and we'll often have lean meats and veggies for dinner.
Stepping Forward I didn't even think about working out until I lost 50 pounds and finally had the energy. I went for walks and bought a recumbent bike for my house. I found kettlebells that came with a DVD at T.J. Maxx and I fell in love with those. My go-to exercise is the full swing, all the way over your head. It's a "hear me roar" sort of move.