Tanzy Kilcrease leaned on her loved ones and got serious weight loss results–72 pounds, to be exact
At the age of 30, I became the principal of an elementary school and went back to graduate school–all while raising my three children. I was too busy to cook, so we ate out for every meal. When I was stressed, I grabbed any sweet I could find. Soon the scale edged upward. I enrolled in diet and exercise programs, but nothing stuck. Instead of slimming down, I gained 70 pounds in 6 1/2 years.
STRENGTH IN NUMBERS
On January 1, 2007, my mother, aunt, and I were sitting around talking about how fat and tired we all were, and I couldn’t stand it anymore. I said: “We can beat this. Let’s start a group. We’ll meet once a week, weigh in, and talk about what we’ve done to be healthy.”
We started convening every Sunday at my mother’s house. It was like our own private Weight Watchers meeting. We’d each get on the scale, then discuss strategies to help us meet our goals: Write in a journal to track food intake, increase our fiber by adding beans to our salads, or snack on fruit instead of chocolate to satisfy a sweet tooth. It was such great motivation. We screamed and gave each other high fives when we met our exercise or weight loss goals for the week.
I lost 40 pounds the first 6 months; by the time I returned to school in the fall, I’d shed 55 pounds–my students didn’t even recognize me! I’ve maintained my weight for more than 2 years, and people stop me all the time to ask how I did it. My answer: I’m still doing it. Losing weight and staying healthy is a lifelong journey.
MY TOP TIPS
* Rise and shine. I squeeze in a 3-mile walk before work. It’s the only time of day when I don’t have appointments or social obligations to distract me.
* Get tech savvy. Online calorie trackers let you look up foods and keep tabs on daily intake with minimal calculations on your part. For a similar tool, go to prevention.com/myhealthtracker.
* Find a friend. My neighbors are my walking buddies. I look forward to their company each morning, which means I’m more likely to stick with it.
* Make room for splurges. I was a sugar addict, so I chose to give up daily processed sugar like candy, cookies, soda, and baked goods. But I still eat dessert on birthdays and special occasions so I don’t feel deprived.
* Clean out your closet. When I dropped a size, I donated everything in my closet that was too big. I didn’t want any excuse to gain weight.