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Weekly Diet News Digest

by John McGran, Columnist

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A Diet.com Exclusive
by John McGran

Diet.com member Shannon M. is feeling the love - the love of a new and improving body! Our Diet.com super success is down 74 pounds and she's here to tell you how she accomplished such an amazing feat using the tools and knowledge served up by the only diet program that has worked for her.

"Diet.com has all of the tools that are necessary for long-term successful weight loss," Shannon says. "I have access to dietitians, trainers, doctors, as well as thousands of people to root me on.

"I have used the site to track my meals, find recipes, and hold myself accountable through blogging.

"The support from others is what really has kept me going. I have NEVER successfully stuck to a diet for as long as I have with my support team on this site."

Wow... 74 pounds lost. Just imagine 15 bags of sugar stacked on your kitchen counter. Now try to lift them. You now know what Shannon's weight loss feels like!

A frequent blogger and poster on the Diet.com website, Shannon isn't about to rest on her laurels. She still has more than 40 pounds to lose to attain her goal weight of 140.

After weathering a recent scale-stalling plateau, Shannon knows she will accomplish all her goals with the help of Diet.com.

"At my heaviest, I weighed 255 pounds... and I was shocked because I had never felt like I weighed that much and I had never had a weight problem before!" says Shannon, a fun, feisty 5-foot-3 former athlete.

"But those days are gone and I really notice the changes now. I don't get tired as easily. I can walk up and down stairs without huffing and puffing. I feel like I have a ton of energy now and I have built up my stamina."

Shannon at first had a hard time doing 5 minutes on her elliptical machine; she now keeps churning off the calories for a full half-hour.

"I was really depressed for the past 5 years, but that's all changed and I'm not on medication anymore -- the doctor took me off it!" she notes.

"I am a completely different woman and I view things so differently. Thanks to Diet.com I like healthier foods now and I don't feel a need to eat every hour."

Shannon had managed to drop close to 30 pounds "without really committing to her diet plan." That mindset changed when she kicked off the New Year by joining the Diet.com Fresh Start Weight Loss Challenge.

As the pounds shrank, Shannon's self-esteem ballooned. She did so well with the Fresh Start Challenge, she was named the overall winner of the two-team, 500-member event. It didn't hurt that she also enrolled in a fitness boot camp in her home state of California.

"I did the boot camp three times a week and I started walking," she recalls. "My life no longer revolved around fast food. I was losing inches, building muscle and feeling better overall."

Winning the challenge sure was fun... but not nearly as fun for Shannon as finding the energy to bond with her 6-year-old daughter.

"We can now do fun things like go to park, take walks, go to the beach and enjoy after-school programs," says Shannon who turns 27 this June. "Before, I would get home from work, sit down and watch TV with my little girl. Now we go outside!"

So what was Shannon's "a-ha moment"... that pivotal happening that triggered a desire to regain control of her weight and life?

"I realized my whole 20's had been filled with being overweight and unhappy," she tells Diet.com. "After Christmas 2006 I decided I needed to take on what I needed to take on. That's when I came across Diet.com.

"The Fresh Start Challenge is the catalyst that elevated my Diet.com experience into the winner it is!"

Shannon also credits her mother for helping her stay the course.

"My mother has been great," she says. "When we go out to dinner, she asks me about the healthier choices."

Shannon spends a lot of time with her mom. She has little choice. They work together!

Her Diet.com peers also get a nod of respect and thanks.

"If I weren't on the Diet.com website I probably would have given up by now," she admits. "I made friends on the site. They check in to make sure I am staying on track."

Her biggest cheerleaders include popular Diet.com bloggers and posters chefsy, kello81, Kalalor and DL21Smith.

"Diet.com has given me a place to be open and honest with my current situation," Shannon says. "I can't think of another situation where I would be as open -- this site made me face the facts."

Shannon upgraded to a Premium membership shortly after she joined Diet.com. Having access to our registered dietitian and diet doctor has had a huge impact.

"Blogs, recipes and access to professional people working to give me advice... it's heaven for a dieter," she says. "Other sites have online message boards where people give advice without being qualified.

"I am so involved in the blogs and message boards here!"

Shannon hopes to be at her goal weight by November. She already knows how she will mark the occasion.

"I have always wanted to go to New York City at Christmastime; that'll be my reward... a trip there!" she says.

More Shannon from her Fresh Start Challenge narrative
(that's Shannon enjoying her Fresh Start Challenge prizes!)

Favorite quote: "Even the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

When I joined the Fresh Start Weight Loss Challenge I had no idea what to expect. I was new to the community, and didn't know anyone on the site. I decided to give it a shot. I mean, what did I possibly have to lose...

In December of 2006 I went to the doctor and found out that I weighed 255 pounds. I was shocked... I practically begged my doctor to write me a recommendation for gastric bypass or lap band, options I saw as the easy way out, but he refused. He told me that other than my weight I was a perfectly healthy 25 year-old and needed to make changes in my diet and exercise and fast! I spent a few months feeling sorry for myself and by April of 2007 I had hit the all time high of 262 pounds.

At that time I decided I would casually try some dieting. I lost 37 pounds between April and December of 2007. I was eating better but wasn’t completely invested in leading a healthier lifestyle.

In January I decided I needed to really take it to the next level and lose the weight. It didn’t take long for me to learn that Diet.com was a place I could be open, honest and share myself. To be able to type my starting weight of 224.2 pounds felt amazingly empowering. The even more amazing thing was that all of these people actually accepted me at a weight that I didn't even accept myself.

When I had a good day they were there to cheer me on and share my celebrations. When I had a bad day and was crying, frustrated, and wanted to give up my inbox was flooded with genuine concern, support, and threats to come find me if I gave up ;) The support from others is what has kept me going. I have NEVER successfully stuck to a diet for as long as I have with ...    Continue

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@ 11:50pm ET on April 6, 2008
Yiheeee... That's my Girl!!! :) Here's a huge hug, Sweetheart! Love lots and tons of .. splenda? :) hehe

@ 12:36am ET on April 7, 2008
So I joined this group to keep me motivated. When I joined diet.com I wieghed 198 pounds. I now weigh 168 and feel great but my goal is 130. I think by joining this group I will get the motivation to continue eating well and losing weight.

@ 8:33am ET on April 7, 2008
Shannon, you are doing so well, and the before and after pics are an inspiration.
You will be at your goal weight in no time.

@ 10:27am ET on April 7, 2008
Shannon, you are such an inspiration to all of us! Congratulations on your weightloss!

@ 2:14pm ET on April 7, 2008
Keep up the good work, gorgeous!You give the rest of us hope, motivation and the strength to start a new day!

@ 3:55pm ET on April 7, 2008
I agree with everyone...you're an inspiration and motivate us all so much! You look so wonderful! Congratulations, Shannon! You rock!

@ 7:50pm ET on April 7, 2008
wow this is great i will try it

@ 9:12pm ET on April 7, 2008
Lookin' Good!

@ 11:50pm ET on April 8, 2008
Your story is a true inspiration I am begining again after my first attempt last year without success I gave up but I will try again this time and give updates on how I am doing it is nothing like satisfactory scale reading

@ 9:31pm ET on April 9, 2008
hey shannon,

This is Becky Amazed at your weight loss. Pls give me a call back at 903-215-0089. I really do need to talk to you concerning your wait loss tips.

@ 11:49pm ET on April 9, 2008
Way to go!!!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!


@ 11:49pm ET on April 9, 2008
Way to go!!!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!


@ 11:49pm ET on April 9, 2008
Way to go!!!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!


@ 12:01am ET on April 10, 2008
Obviously You are well supported here on Diet.COM!! GREAT JOB Shannon! You're doing so great in your journey to a healthier you, and I am so excited to be able to watch as you blossom into that awesome person you've always been deep inside!!

@ 5:41pm ET on April 10, 2008
What all did you do besides walk? What foods did you eat? You look awesome and I weighed 275 before I lost 25lbs but I gained 8lbs back and I feel really bad. Can you help me?

@ 1:00am ET on April 30, 2008
Hey girlie!!! None of us would be where we are without YOU. I really hope you realize that. You applaud us for our support for you, but you have been one of the biggest inspirations on this site! Hey Shan...if you do New Years Eve in NYC, I'd love to meet up with you! I only live an hour outside the city and go in QUITE FREQUENTLY :-)

Love ya, girlie! I mean it!


@ 10:14pm ET on May 12, 2008
Shannon, what a great job!! and in the right way!! I went the route of a gastric bypass and certainly lost the poundage, but really learned nothing and eventually over several years, have found myself heading in the wrong direction with my weight. Found this site and am finding success and by no short cuts, but truly changing patterns and habits long ingrained.
You keep up the great job you are doing, not only for yourself, but for all the others you are inspiring to keep going---including me!

@ 11:45am ET on May 23, 2008
i am glad that i read your story i am 24 yrs old and i am at 245 lbs. and your story makes me want to upgrade and become a member. thanks for sharing your story i really appreciate it.

@ 3:22pm ET on June 16, 2008
Wow and here just a few months later you have hit the 100 pound mark.

You are such an inspiration!

@ 3:17pm ET on June 20, 2008
Can't wait til I can type a 1 in front of my weight too! Hopefully before the 4th of July! Counting calories works, I'm at 1,000 for today and have room for a salad for dinner and that's it. Gotta go do some gardening and burn some more calories!
C U!

@ 4:34pm ET on June 27, 2016
Amazing results. Thanks for sharing!

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