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 wasnâ€™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 didnâ€™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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