Sometimes the hardest part of making a big change is getting motivated. Which is why we’ve found some seriously inspiring women who have lost between 84 and 206 pounds each. Plus, get more of our best weight loss and diet tips.
#1. Laura Avon, 44, Wall Township, NJ and Susie Costello, 47, Lavalette, NJ
“I used to eat a lot of fast food, and I had no discipline with portions (I’d down a bag of potato chips while watching a movie),” Susie says. “My confidence was gone, and my energy was at an all-time low. One day in the spring of 2015, I looked in the mirror and said, ‘I have to do something.'”
#2. Weight Loss: 30 and 20 Pounds
Top Tip: In addition to exercising and meal prepping together, these best friends are committed to being partners in health. “We call each other every Friday to discuss our weekend plans and how we’re going to stay on track,” Susie says. “We text each other inspirational quotes once a week, like ‘Stay patient and trust your journey.'”
#3. Jane Dent, 62, Leonardtown, MD and Sarah Gallagher, 35, Leonardtown, MD
Committing to themselves and ditching the guilt helped this mother and daughter succeed. “My weight was up and down for 10 years, and I could never find a permanent solution,” Sarah says. “It felt like a roller coaster.“
#4. Weight Loss: 45 and 36 Pounds
Top Tip: Move more to stress less. “I’ve learned to exercise instead of eating when I’m stressed,” Sarah says. “I’ve started walking two to three miles outside two to three times a week. The fresh air instantly puts me in a good mood, and I think of it as time to unplug. Now I put exercise on my to-do list just like any task—it’s about committing to myself. My mom bought a Fitbit and aims for 10,000 steps per day.”
#5. Rosalyn Long, 41, Alpharetta, GA and Rhonda Howard, 36, Woodstock, GA
These sisters were inspired to make a change together. “One day in January 2016, I saw a picture of myself from a family gathering and thought, What has happened here? Rosalyn had steadily gained weight after our grandmother passed away in 2013, so we both came to the realization that it was time to change,” Rhonda
Top Tip: “We joined Life Time Fitness and enrolled in the gym’s 60-Day Challenge, a competition that encouraged us to commit to healthy changes and slim down in 60 days,” Rosalyn says. “We each lost about 10 pounds in the first challenge, so we signed up for another. We felt competitive against others, but always thought of ourselves as a team.”
#7. Kathryn Carney, 47, Atlanta, GA
I ate five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day, cut out fried foods, and switched from eating refined carbohydrates like white bread to complex carbs like whole-wheat bread. I promised myself that after one year of living healthfully, I’d treat myself to fast-food fries (an old favorite), but I couldn’t finish them. Now my cholesterol is in a healthy range, and I still walk 30 to 60 minutes four or five days a week.