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How I did it

Because I am lucky enough to have time, family support, and resources I have been able to try lots of things on this journey. (Not everyone does and I never forget how fortunate I am.)

Here's how I did it:

1. Started walking every day. 15 minutes was max at first and now I'm up to 60 minutes per day. On days I don't make it, I forgive myself, but I don't allow it to happen a second day in a row.

2. Got an MP3 player (from my wonderful husband for my 41st birthday) and loaded it up with inspirational music to walk to.

3. Put this photo of Dara Torres on my refrigerator. She's 41 years old too.

4. Used the Weight Watchers® online system, followed the plan faithfully, and read everything on their website

5. Tried new low fat healthy foods I was never willing to try, like fish! Yellow fin tuna and mahimahi are my favorites. Also, when my family has hamburgers, I have a garden burger or for a major treat a turkey burger.

6. Stopped eating in restaurants. Was eating in restaurants for lunch 4-5 times per week and 1-2 times for dinner. These days sometimes a month goes by without a restaurant meal and I don't miss it because most of the food is so greasy and/or over seasoned and expensive ($$ and calories)

7. Learned to eat slowly and savor flavors. Have you ever listened to the sound of the seeds popping as you slowly crunch into a big fresh strawberry?

8. Took a health class and learned all about obesity related illness

9. Got involved in a weight loss study through my insurance provider. This included six months of free weekly classes on nutrition, food and exercise tracking, setting goals, weight loss strategies, the change process, and building a support group.

10. Asked my family to not bring home my trigger foods: doritos, ice cream, gummi bears. They were more than willing to help me in this way.

11. This one is the most important. I didn't beat myself up for blowing it occasionally. It's depressing to see the scale in the same place after you have worked your butt off all week and even worse to watch the numbers go up on a week when you have a hot fudge sundae. I tried really hard not to criticize myself -- that was part of the old way of doing things that kept me fat for so long. You gotta love yourself to work this hard day after day and I can't do it with a negative tape running in my brain.

And, no I'm not trying to be Oprah here but IT'S TRUE! :)