Lost 16 Pounds on a 6-Week Community Challenge!
Height: 5’4.5", Age: 31
It was Nell’s refreshing perspective on following a healthy lifestyle, reaching her goals, and renewing her confidence that caught our attention and it’s the reason we chose her as our grand prize winner for the 2013 New Year’s Challenge.
As a forensic scientist, investigating the factors that played into her weight gain came naturally to her. She reviewed the last couple of years, starting with the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu course she enrolled in. But when she moved across the country, her eating habits began slipping and she started dining out for almost every meal. As a result, she gained more weight despite her regular workouts. But after following the South Beach Diet for several months, she lost 16 pounds, and her symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, high blood pressure, and a slow heart rate have subsided.
“I’ve tried and quit a couple of other diets in previous years, but the South Beach Diet stuck with me because it outlined exactly what I could eat instead of leaving me to figure out calories and fat percentages on my own. I immediately lost four pounds during the first week of Phase 1, but during my second week, I had a more steady weight loss.”
In addition to losing weight, Nell says she hopes to reach her goal of being at the best shape of her life. While Nell remained active, she still wasn’t losing weight and toning up. She knew the culprit was the unhealthy food she was eating. “I knew something had gotten out of control. My blood pressure had risen from a stellar 90/60 to a humdrum 110/70, and my heart rate that once ticked slower than the seconds hand of a clock crept up to an average one in the 70s,” Nell explains.
Nell’s story proves that you can’t lose weight and keep it off without following a healthy eating plan and a regular exercise routine. Participating in the New Year’s Challenge has helped Nell get back on track and make positive, permanent changes to her lifestyle. “The Challenge gave me additional support as I transitioned to Phase 2. I committed to using the Food and Fitness Journal, which generates helpful charts in the Nutrition Tracker. I gave up bad habits, like late-night web surfing, and treated myself to tea, literature, and spa products instead of rewarding myself with food,” Nell says.
She is also learning how to prepare more healthy meals at home instead of dining out. She uses the Recipe Finder on the site to search for new recipes and eats fruits as a post-workout snack instead of junk food.
“Next New Year’s Eve, I will wear a little black dress in the smallest size I have ever worn. More importantly, I’ll be fit, agile, and strong. For the first time, I will love my legs. I’ll be a better fighter and consider competing again,” Nell declares with enthusiasm.
"I’m not resigned to eating bland, steamed broccoli and plain grilled chicken. I’m never hungry and the food I eat is rich and flavorful."
"My favorite snack is a handful of almonds and a banana."
"I studied a variety of martial arts over two decades, so I enjoy any fight training."
"My most effective strategy is preparing my meals in advance to avoid eating out."
"Drink your eight glasses of water throughout the day, increase your fiber, and check your sodium intake. Start interval training and make sure you get enough good sleep each night."