After gaining big with her three pregnancies, Sharon Cline carved out time for herself and erased 80 pounds.

By As told to Rozalynn S. Frazier
March 11, 2013

Sharon Cline, 42, 5'4"

Before: 210 lbs. (size 16–18)

Courtesy of Sharon ClineMotherhood, 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.

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."

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