44 Pounds Lost!
Height: 5'5", Age: 44
From Granite City, IL
Sherry always loved to cook, but since she joined the 2011 New Year's Challenge South Beach Diet Cooking School, her culinary abilities have risen to new levels. In addition to mastering with new cooking techniques, ingredients, and recipes, Sherry has a new outlook on eating that is helping her maintain her weight loss and lead a happier and healthier life.
"Before I joined the South Beach Diet, I was very depressed and felt like a recluse to society. A lot of people made me feel bad about my weight. I wanted the gawking and rude comments to stop for good," Sherry says.
With the encouragement and support of other members, as well as our Community moderators, nutritionists, and Message Board volunteers, Sherry got something more out of the 2011 New Year's Challenge than just a new set of cooking skills: Cooking became an encouraging and motivating outlet for her.
"My love for cooking inspired me to turn my outlook on life around. I will be forever grateful for having the opportunity to participate in the 2011 New Year's Challenge. It has not only helped me physically but mentally and emotionally as well," Sherry says.
Sherry also learned how to make healthy swaps with her favorite recipes. She now replaces full-fat items like mayonnaise with low-fat varieties when preparing casseroles. She substitute butter with trans-fat-free margarine or extra-virgin olive oil when enjoying whole-wheat toast and she adds different vegetables to her salads to keep meals interesting.
"I had fast-food three or more times a week before I joined the South Beach Diet. Ice cream, candy, chips and dips, lots of red meat, and foods heavy on the cheese and mayo ruled my life. My diet was a wreck and my body was the proof. Since then, my cooking skills have greatly improved. My cabinets were full of dried seasonings, but now I use fresh herbs, like parsley, rosemary, and cilantro, in my recipes. I used to buy marinated meat but now I cook fresh meat and season it with my own choice of spices. The flavor of my meals really pops with fresh ingredients, not to mention their delicious aroma that fills my kitchen," Sherry says.
These days, Sherry enjoys preparing homemade meals, shopping for healthy foods, and reading cookbooks. She has also picked up a new workout routine and walks for 30 minutes on the elliptical. Sometimes she takes a spin class at her gym, jogs 5-6 times a week, and walks 20-30 minutes outside when the weather's nice. But what really surprised Sherry was how easily she traded her unhealthy ways for a better, more fulfilling life.
"The meal plan is easy to follow and the recipes taste great. You know you are eating healthy. It is a great program that has been thoroughly researched and it really works for me," Sherry says.
For Sherry, the South Beach Diet is more than just a diet—it's a lifestyle. It has given her the motivation to reach her goals and find happiness in herself.
"Whatever you do, never give up! The weight loss may seem slower than you expected, but you are going in the right direction no matter what your goals are," Sherry says.
"The biggest surprise for me was how good the food was. I feel more energized when I eat healthy foods than when I eat unhealthily."
"Walking is my favorite exercise routine. I would like to get back into my routine of exercising 30 minutes on the elliptical and doing 20-30 minute walks."
Most Effective Strategy
"I follow the Foods to Enjoy list for each Phase. I also drink plenty of water and exercise."
"Whatever you do, never give up! The weight loss may seem slow, but if you are sincerely trying, you care going in the right direction."