Last updated: Jun 03, 2010
After the birth of her second daughter nine years ago, Shelley Steele noticed her weight creeping up. “I was fat and happy and just kind of gave up on exercising,” she says. By 39, shed reached 180 and was diagnosed with high cholesterol and prediabetes, about the same time that her mother died. “I was devastated at losing my mother at such a young age,” she says. “I didnt want my girls to have to go through that.”


Shelley started walking and joined ExtraPounds.com, a free online weight-loss community, where she began blogging about her ups and downs. It not only kept her accountable, but the messages she got from online buddies kept her going. Over time, Shelley built the confidence to start running. Now 44 pounds lighter and training for a half-marathon, her cholesterol is normal and her prediabetes in check.

A winning attitude
Shelley decided she didnt need to rush to lose, as long as she succeeded. “I realized the longer it took me to lose it, the better Id be at keeping it off,” she says.

Favorite gear
Lifting weights helps Shelley tone up and boost her metabolism. She loves her orange Reebok hand weights. “Orange is inspirational to me. Its a happy color,” she says.

Her craving buster
A tablespoon of red wine vinegar can banish Shelleys cravings. “It might be mind over matter, but if Im craving something like a burger from In-N-Out, the vinegar will end it.”

Her secret weapon
In addition to blogging, Shelley joined www.calorieking.com, where she figured out that she needed to limit herself to 1,360 calories a day to reach her weight-loss goal.

Her gift
New, stylish running outfits keep Shelley motivated— and she always goes for Nike. “I let myself get a new outfit from them every few months,” she says. So, as a way to say congratulations, Nikes giving Shelley a pair of jogging pants and a top.

Before Now
Pounds: 180 136
Size: 14 4
BMI: 31 24
Total lost: 44