Last updated: Aug 21, 2008


Katherine Harvey of Dixfield, Maine, always felt a calling to run for public office, but at 196 pounds she was too insecure to go for it. “I hadnt felt good about myself since my first pregnancy 21 years ago,” she says. Katherine knew she didnt have the stamina to run a grueling campaign. Then, in early 2006, rising cholesterol and a weight-loss contest got her motivated. She cut sweets and limited carbs to 30 grams a day. She started using an elliptical trainer five or six days a week and lifting weights every other day. And shes now into running; see "Her gift,” below.

Free of 65 pounds, Katherine set out to become a member of the Maine House of Representatives in 2007. She lost by a small margin but considers just being a candidate a victory. “I dont think Id have done it if I hadnt lost weight,” says Katherine, who plans to run for office again. “Once those pounds were gone, I could just be myself.”

Before Now
Weight: 196 131
Size: 18 Size: 8


Her “three-day” rule
Thats how long she allows herself to get off track. “Any longer than that, and Ill develop a bad habit that Ill have to break,” Katherine says.

How she fills up
To keep spinach and spring-mix salads interesting, Katherine adds her favorite toppings, like red kidney beans, cranberries, almonds, and carrots.

Early bird special
When Katherine was campaigning and going door-to-door in the afternoons, shed get up at 4:45 a.m. just so she could still work out every day.

Her gift
Since Katherine now walks or runs about 30 miles a week, New Balance sent her a pair of their new 1224 running shoes ($139.95) to help her keep up the great work.