BEFORE: 225 lbs
AFTER: 122 lbs
Kim Schoenfeldt, a hairstylist in Miami, was a thin and active teenager. Even after having a baby at age 21, Kim, now 39, easily bounced back. But as her daughter grew, Kim did too. Meeting her future husband didn't help--they ate out often and shared comfort food at home. After her wedding in 2000, Kim tried dieting for a decade, but nothing stuck, and her weight climbed. At just 5'0", she'd reached 225 pounds and had all but given up.
The Change: On a trip to Disney World in December 2009, Kim was mortified when she couldn't wedge through the park's turnstile. But rather than risk failing at a weight-loss diet again, she says, "I tried to forget it." And she did, for a year. The next winter, Kim went to the doctor with her husband, who has diabetes. "He said that my husband needed to change his habits, and I knew I did too," says Kim. So in February 2010, the pair committed to getting healthy together, and while her husband took a nutrition class for diabetics, Kim joined a group weight-loss program. Her first goal? Twenty pounds.
The Lifestyle: Kim began by changing her portions. "I used to have a whole basket of rolls at dinner," she says. "But I learned to stop at one." At home her husband made new versions of their old go-tos, like flatbread pizzas with veggies and low-fat cheese, instead of ordering delivery. In three months, Kim lost 22 pounds. She added exercise DVDs three or four days a week: "I started with walking videos, and now I do everything from cardioto strength to stretching," she says. "I also have fun playing Wii dance with my family." Kim reached her goal weight of 128 pounds on March 12, 2012 (yep, she remembers the exact date), and has since whittled off a few more bonus pounds to settle at 122.
The Reward: "I love wearing cute dresses," says Kim, now a size 6. "Shopping used to be horrific, but now when I try something on, I know I'm not going to cry." And she can't get enough of her new energy. "The last time we went on vacation, everyone kept telling me to slow down. I never used to be the speedy one!"
Make it, but fake it. "One of my favorites is baked chicken with breading made from cereal. It tastes fried!"
Hit remix. "Don't do the same thing every day. Keep both your brain and your body entertained."
Be your own best friend. "If you slip, don't beat yourself up. Talk to yourself as you would to a friend, kindly and patiently."
Be at your best health!