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A Champion Once Again: Sara Loses 132lbs!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

This is an article that ediets never ran on me but was supposed to...

By Giselle Gerber
eDiets Staff Writer
After seeing a picture of herself and feeling ashamed at the face staring back at her,
Sara O. knew it was time to change her lifestyle. At 5'9" and 295 pounds, the former state champion and nationally-ranked race walker felt frustrated by how out of shape she had become. After having surgery to remove four tumors on her lymph glands, which proved to be non-cancerous lymphoma, the resulting vertigo forced her to give up racewalking. Not having a balanced eating plan, even as an athlete, the numbers on the scale began creeping up.
Sara tried to lose weight numerous times by using Jenny Craig, Nutri-System and fad-diets--all would briefly work, but nothing she tried had any staying power. Finally, in November 2005, Sara hit a breaking point when she no longer was able to fit into her size 26W jeans. She decided to start battling her weight and conquer her expanding waistline.
"I was watching the Biggest Loser and had a desperate moment. I knew getting on that show would be a far stretch, so I needed to find something readily available that would work. I spent a week searching for my miracle, then I joined eDiets and the eDiets.com Alternative to Jenny Craig in December 2005. I later switched to the Atkins Nutritional Approach in February 2006 and the Glycemic Impact Diet this past fall. That's just another advantage of ediets: I can switch diet plans without joining another online plan!"
eDiets also provided the extra motivation Sara needed through the support boards and nutritionists to give her guidance.
"Before I joined eDiets, I didn't have a clue about what I was eating. I would eat too many carbs and too little protein. eDiets gave me the opportunity to work with a nutritionist on my time, which is a benefit not everyone has," she adds.
Getting Active
After joining the eDiets support board, Life's Odyssey, Sara began exercising. At first she started walking and doing workout videos at home because she was afraid of going to the gym. Once she incorporated exercise into her lifestyle, however, she really noticed how helpful it was for shedding the weight. She eventually joined a gym and added the treadmill, elliptical machine and circuit weights to her routine.
Today, Sara works out according to how she feels and tries to fit in at least 30 minutes of exercise each day.
"I'm getting stronger every day. I started competing in racewalking again. It was hard because my first 5k race in October 2006 was at a 15 minute mile pace. Accepting the slower speeds and celebrating the progress at this level was hard mentally, but with the help of my Life's Odyssey friends, I got through it. My last 5k at the beginning of April was at a 12:30 pace and I am able to work at a 10:30 pace in my track intervals, so I'm well on my way to the sub 9 minute miles I used to race at. I am currently training for the 20k Master's Nationals race, which will be held on November 4th!."
Finding Life's Odyssey
Being a part of Life's Odyssey and participating in the challenge tasks really helped Sara get through the rough patches of her weight-loss journey. According to Sara, when a craving called, she relied on the support she received from her peers to hold her accountable and help keep her focused on her goal.
"There's so much comfort and guidance through the other members of the support group. We share fitness and nutrition tips that we have learned from the eDiets experts accessible on the site. Like Raphael's abdominal vacuum exercises! Plus, there are so many people who go out of their way to help you. Being part of Life's Odyssey has helped me take the focus off my problems by helping others. The challenge really motivate me to do something I normally wouldn't do on my own."
Looking Forward to the Finish Line
Today, Sara is 163lbs., wearing a size 10, and well on her way towards achieving her goal weight of 135lbs. She no longer feels worried about what people are thinking when they look at her. She feels healthier and more capable of achieving her goals, which are to continue her fitness regimen and getting abs of steel!
"One of the things I've learned from eDiets is to change the 'diet' mentality. It's a lifestyle change. Once I hit my goal weight, I will continue to stay with eDiets to make sure I have the support and focus I need to maintain my weight. Now I have the knowledge on how to do it. I understand how to eat properly."
Sara has some advice for those trying to adopt healthier lifestyles:
"Find a food plan that you can live with and make sure you can work with it. There's something for everyone out there. You can't do it alone. Find a support board that will hold you accountable and give you extra support. And finally, don't give up!
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.