Lost 85 pounds!
5’5”, Age: 40
Michelle T. started her weight-loss journey on the South Beach Diet on January 28, 2013, her “wellness birthday,” as she calls it. Although she comes from a family with a long history of obesity and various health conditions, she is pioneering a new generation of family members who she hopes will be healthier and live longer.
“I noticed my son, who is 11 years old, started to put extra weight on and that was the day I decided my weight did matter and I wanted to stop the generational cycle. I really wanted to get him back on track, and I could only do that by being a positive role model,” Michelle says.
Michelle consulted with her doctor, who recommended the South Beach Diet because of its emphasis on healthy eating and adopting positive lifestyle habits. Soon enough, Michelle found herself poring over South Beach Diet books and recipes, and she started Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet the following week.
“Stabilizing my blood sugars on Phase 1 quickly diminished my cravings and left me feeling in control. This allowed me to begin losing weight,” Michelle explains in her Challenge essay.
As part of her daily routine, Michelle prepares her meals for the next day, including healthy, shelf-stabilized snacks that she stores in her car. Every Sunday, she’ll prepare a large meal that she and her son can eat throughout the week.
“I can’t go to bed without having all my meals ready for the next day. My ideal night is to have all my meals set. I have no excuses. It’s become such a permanent part of my schedule that I can’t imagine not doing it. I also travel a lot for work during the day, so I like to keep sandwich bags with nuts at the ready,” Michelle says.
During her weight-loss journey, she also developed a newfound love for Zumba and has even gotten some of her co-workers to join her in classes.
“I like going to the gym but I don’t like using machines. I never danced or was a cheerleader so I was a little nervous about trying Zumba. But after taking a class or two, I started to enjoy it, and now I participate in two to four Zumba classes a week!” Michelle beams.
Aside from Zumba, Michelle says she enjoys doing outdoor activities with her son, including hiking.
“We have a membership at our community center, and there’s a path there that we both like to walk. We’re more active now and try to do more activities that keep us moving,” Michelle says.
Since Michelle started following the South Beach Diet, she has lost 85 pounds. The South Beach Diet has not only helped Michelle lose weight but improved her overall health and renewed her confidence. “It feels really good to inspire other people to change their lifestyles. Since I’ve lost weight, friends, family members, and co-workers have said I’ve inspired them to lose weight. As someone who works with low-income families, I’ve always been a giver, so it’s become overwhelming, yet humbling, to receive so many compliments,” Michelle says.
“The biggest surprise for me was getting so much positive feedback and compliments from my friends, family, and co-workers. It’s not something I’m used to.”
“The boiled cauliflower snack I mentioned above it my favorite! I just boil cauliflower and cut it into bite-sized pieces, then season it with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and extra-virgin olive oil.”
“Zumba is my favorite exercise. I take Zumba classes two to four times a week!”
Effective Weight-Loss Strategy
“The most effective strategy for me is preparing my meals and snacks in advance. It really helps me stay on track with a healthy eating plan. I can’t go to bed without having my meals ready. I also didn’t buy any new clothes until I lost the weight for good. I didn’t want to get too comfortable and lose sight of my goals.”
“The biggest reward for me is leading a healthy lifestyle. I feel proud to show my son how good being healthy feels. My sense of self is truly confident; I think it’s a reward to be able to participate in a fitness class and not feel insecure.”
“I see some people on the Message Boards say that they’re apprehensive about starting Phase 1. But just do it. It sounds intimidating but it’s only two weeks. You’re going to see the number on the scale move and you’ll reintroduce the foods you’re restricting back into your diet. After the two weeks, I felt in control. It’s science-based and it works.”