From Size 16 to 6 in 8 Months

I attended my cousin's wedding, and when the pictures came back, I saw myself and thought, "Oh my gosh! Is that what I look like?!" I saw that my face was round, I realized I was wearing a size 16, and my weight had gone up to 210 pounds. This was my "ah-ha" moment.

I decided right then and there that I was going to change my lifestyle. My goal was to eat healthier, exercise more and to just take better care of myself. I didn't really have a weight-loss goal in mind, but I thought if I could lose 50 pounds, I'd be doing well. So I began walking for exercise. I would walk after dinner; I took the stairs instead of the elevator whenever I got the chance, and I walked more at work (I would type out memos and deliver them, I would take my own mail to the mail room, etc.). I also began taking a good woman's multivitamin and 1,000 mg of oyster shell calcium every day to aid my well-being.

The biggest change I made was to my diet: I began eating six to seven small meals a day instead of two to three meals. I carried fresh fruit, crackers, cheese, vegetables, trail mix and water (or Crystal Light) with me to work and everywhere I went. I would eat something every two to three hours so that I never became hungry. When I had cravings for sweet things, I didn't deny myself those things. For instance, if I wanted cookies or ice cream I would eat two to three cookies or scoops of ice cream. However, that would be my meal for that two to three hour period, and the next several meals had to be healthy.

Well, let me tell you, the weight started falling off within a week. After only one month, I had lost 20 pounds. The weight kept falling off and after eight months I had lost 75 pounds! I weighed 135 pounds. I am proud to say that my cousin's wedding took place 10 years ago this month and I have kept off the weight. I now weigh 140, which is more realistic for me as I am six feet tall. To this day, I carry that photo with me from my cousin's wedding to remind me that I am never going to look that way again!

Editor's note: Do you have a weight-loss success story of your own? If you've lost weight or are in the process of losing weight, email editor.neversaydiet@nbcuni.com with "Weight-Loss Success Story" in the subject line and tell us your story. You may be featured on iVillage Health!

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