Last updated: Mar 01, 2013
sharon-cline-before
Sharon Cline, 42, 5'4"


Before: 210 lbs. (size 16–18)

Courtesy of Sharon Cline
Motherhood, to me, meant focusing all my energy on my kids—but in the midst of mom duty, I forgot about myself. The result: My weight crept up. By 2004, I was a size 18. Still, I thought since that's the smallest at plus-size retailers, I couldn't be that heavy. Then I overheard my 7-year-old daughter tell her friends I was her aunt, which she later said was because she was embarrassed by my 210-pound shape. Her words, while crushing, pushed me to make a change.

Bye-bye, bad foods
In January 2005, I joined Weight Watchers and learned how to approach eating like a financial plan. I carefully "spent" each day's allotment of points and looked for ways to stretch my "budget." That meant trading high-calorie French fries and chicken nuggets for nutritious and filling foods, like fish, whole grains and veggies. Within six months I had dropped 30 pounds. Seeing the number on the scale go down at my weekly weigh-ins kept me motivated.

sharon-cline-after
After: 130 lbs. (size 4)

Total weight lost: 80 lbs. (size 6–7)

Michael Blackwell
No-gym workouts
Excited about my diet success, I began walking regularly with a few friends. Tackling our hilly sidewalks helped me shave off another 30 pounds. By then I felt fit enough to return to the tennis court (I'd played when I was younger). The game made me leaner and stronger, and by mid-2007 I reached my 145-pound goal. Now, six years later, I've not only kept it off, I've lost another 15 pounds, too! I also finally figured out how to be there for my kids and my waistline.

How I stay fit

  • Sneak in sweat sessions. "Being a single mom swallows up almost all my free time. When I can't make it to the gym, I just hit the spin bike at home in the evenings before I help my kids with their homework."
  • Get a smart start. "If I skip breakfast, I overeat later. My fave morning meal is an egg-and-cheese sandwich made with a Thomas' Light multigrain English muffin, reduced-fat cheese and scrambled Egg Beaters."
  • Wake up your water. "To keep my water from tasting boring, I squirt in a half-teaspoon of fruit punch–flavored MiO Liquid Water Enhancer. It adds sweetness with zero calories."
  • Say yes to (some) sweets. "My go-to treat: a heated Kashi Soft-Baked Chocolate Square topped with a small scoop of Edy's Slow Churned Half the Fat vanilla ice cream. It's small but satisfying."
Have you transformed your body? We want to hear about it. E-mail 'before' and 'after' photos to IDidIt@health.com and tell us what worked for you. Please include your phone number.