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At the beginning of 2010, Ana stepped on a scale at her neighbor's house and realized that she needed to make a change if she wanted to start living the life she really wanted to live. Now just a few short months later, she's dropped 31 lbs and is using her self-determination - and her rock collection - to continue on her path towards her goal weight.

Ana grew up in a family of overweight people, and found it hard to convince her family that dropping from her then 190 lbs to a healthier 145 lbs was doable.

Unsatisfied with the skepticism she received from her family, Ana knew she needed to find some concrete support and encouragement if she was going to make any real meaningful changes to her lifestyle. That's when she turned to the Internet - and Diet.com - for help.

Ana, who goes by the Diet.com username Zurda, says she didn't even own a scale back in January. "I didn't own a scale then so I weighed myself at my neighbor's and was badly shocked at the reading," she tells Diet.com. "I later learned that, according to my height, had I gained just 3 more pounds, I would have reached a BMI classifying me as 'obese.'"

Over the last few months, Ana has rediscovered her love of veggies and fresh foods. Finding new ways to enjoy healthy foods was an invaluable trick for her.

In one Diet.com blog back in January, she wrote, "The key to remaining faithful to your diet is to find the food you eat enjoyable. If you find that something is too boring for words, find a way to liven it up or try an equally healthy replacement for it. And have fun!"

In addition to improving her diet, Ana takes pleasure in getting exercise, usually in the form of walks. "I love my walks!" Ana confesses. "I don't live far from the coast, so my favorite outings are along the beach."

Her walking, along with biking, dancing, pilates, and (most recently) Zumba, has given her a well-rounded and fun exercise routine that keeps things interesting!

To keep herself in check, Ana swears by planning, planning, planning! "I carefully plan out my meals and exercise activities and write them down so that I know what to expect from my day."

But Ana has another motivational tool that you won't find at the gym or supermarket: a rock collection!

"I resort to visual stimulus," she explains. "So I have my 'incentive stones', a rock collection I keep just outside my door. I add a rock of equivalent weight according to the amount of weight I lose each week and take pictures of my progress this way."

"It feels good to see a pile of them every time I go in and out of the house!"

And having Diet.com here to help feels good too! Ana says, "Diet.com has been essential in helping me keep focused."

Along with logging her meals and workouts on Diet.com, she regularly tracks her weight and even has a saved workout in the Workout Builder that she does 3 times each week!

But Ana says that her favorite area of the site, the blogs, is where she really is able to express herself:

"I love to write, and the blog feature is very important to me to not only express myself and get feedback from people attempting to lose weight just like me, but also read and experience their personal journey toward this goal. I also appreciate the input in blogs written by experts."

Above all, Ana says the key to her success has been taking control.

"I'm through with being passive and have decided to take control of my life and health. I have achieved the right mindset that doesn't allow me to give up if I am not immediately gratified by the scale."

Congratulations Ana, on your awesome weight loss success so far. We're all proud of you and will be keeping an eye on your progress!!

- Add Zurda as a Diet.com buddy!
- Follow her Diet.com blog!
- Check out her yummy Cream of Zucchini Soup recipe

@ 6:40am ET on April 12, 2010
Ana - thanks for the motivation!! I do love the rock idea!! And Bailey thanks for highlighting Ana's story!!

@ 10:17am ET on April 12, 2010
Thanks for the motivation! Every bit of encouragement helps! I love walking, too, but I think I need to add more intesity and do weight work in between (my body is accustomed to walking) :-)

@ 3:23pm ET on April 12, 2010
I'm so proud of you, Ana! You have transformed, girl! Keep it up! ~Sara :o)

@ 4:44pm ET on April 12, 2010
Wow Ana that's sooo awesome! GREAT job!

@ 4:48pm ET on April 12, 2010
Thanks, everybody, and thank you too, Bailey, for such a nice blog post!

@ 11:43pm ET on April 12, 2010
Yay, Ana! So cool that your story's getting highlighted! You're doing awesome. :)

@ 11:49am ET on April 14, 2010
Congratulations! That is such good news :)

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