A bad date helped Keishia Gu ditch 40 pounds and gain a new love of adventure.
Culver City, Calif.
Courtesy Keishia GuKeishia Gu
Before: 150 lb., size 10/12
After: 110 lb., size 0
Total pounds lost: 40 lb.
Sizes lost: 5/6
The pounds started creeping on after graduate school. My activity level dropped, which isn't saying much, since I was always a bare-minimum exerciser. On top of that, I developed a thing for fast food. (The McDonald's server knew my order!) I noticed my clothes were feeling tight, but I thought I was carrying the extra pounds well. That is, until October 2011, when a guy I went out with told me I should consider losing 10 or 20 pounds to be more "datable." It was a blow to my ego, but that rude comment made me take a serious look at my body.
Light food, delivered
Two weeks later, I saw a promo for Nutrisystem and signed up. The plan does the thinking for youby delivering prepackaged foodso it seemed feasible. All I had to do was eat what and when I was told. (And I could still have mac and cheese!) In the first two weeks, I lost 5 pounds and was stunned. I had tried so many crazy diets, pills and weight-loss body wraps in the past, yet this was the first time I had seen sub-150 on the scale in a very long time.
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To build on my progress, I amped up my every-now-and-then dance class to six days a week. I took everything from Zumba to hip-hop. Dancing combined with dieting knocked off another 15 pounds by December. Next, I began strength training. I wanted to look and feel strong, too. Lifting gave my body definition while also helping me drop 10 more pounds. Three years later, not only have I kept the weight off, but I got chosen to host an adventure show on PBS that will highlight my athleticism (scaling the Swiss Alps, parasailing in Africa). This would never have been possible had I not gotten my weight under control.
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Lose-big crib sheet
The secret to Keishia's success? These smart moves. Find even more body changers at health.com/weight-loss-stories.
Tommy Garcia Fuel on the go
I have hard-boiled eggs, string cheese and raisins or cranberries on hand for when I get hungry. These are my power foods.
Pick motivating songs
No workout playlist is complete without C&C Music Factory's "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)," which makes me want to move the second I hear it, and "Conquistador," by Procol Harumit reminds me to break through barriers and just do it!
Pin your ideal body
I created a Pinterest board with photos of strong bodies and fit celebs like Jada Pinkett Smith. It mirrored what fit was and what I wanted to be.
Enjoy cheat meals (with a catch)
If I wanted gummy bears or a pizza, I either had to put in an extra workout that day or reach a specific weight-loss goal first. It was important to know that I had worked for those extra calories.