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Team Beachbody Coach Rich Dafter
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Happy New Me! I've Lost 85 Pounds

From eDiets - The online diet, fitness, and healthy living resource

When it came to joining eDiets, Anne Rousseau had nothing to lose but pounds.

And thats just what she did. After 11 months on the leading online weight loss program, the determined dieter is light as a feather, firm as a board. Through a major health makeover, shes made the transformation from 218 pounds to 133 pounds. By revamping her diet, her fitness level and her mentality toward healthy living, Anne has dropped a whopping 85 pounds from her 56" figure.

It took years for the former Weight Watchers member to shake off the indifferent attitude she had about her extra weight. Before, healthy eating was never a priority for Anne. She didn’t eat vegetables… Fruits were something you stuffed into muffins or pies… Milk was for children… She could think of every lame excuse in the book to avoid anything nutritious.

The common staples in her diet were breads, pastas, potatoes, rice and cereal, along with chips and desserts. At night she would come home and throw two French bread pizzas in the oven -- and scarf down half a bag of chips while they cooked. There were days when she would hit the Dunkin Donuts drive-thru on the way to work and then go for round two of gourmet goodies when she arrived at the office.

Her eating was out of control, and the effect of those high-calorie, high-fat foods was a widening waistline.

“I ate myself up to 218 pounds,” says the New Hampshire woman.

As her weight climbed, Anne had plenty of incentive to lose those extra pounds. The former accountant wanted a new job, and she believed her weight would be a turn-off to prospective employers. But that wasn’t her only motivation. Whenever she saw herself in pictures with her family, she felt like she didn’t fit in.

My parents and my brothers are thin. Theyre all little skinny people. I looked like I didnt belong in the family. I didnt take good pictures. I was like this round person. When I looked in the mirror, I felt like I had lost my real face.

The two factors gave Anne enough drive to change the way she’d been living. After seeing an eDiets banner and visiting the website, Anne realized she was on to something big. She became a member of the 11-million strong community last January and took it one meal at a time.

From the beginning, Anne ate the meals on the plan. But she still had an aversion to the fruits and vegetables she had avoided for so long, so she left them out. It wasn’t long before she found herself hungry, which is what finally convinced her to eat the salads and fruits.

“It wasn’t that I didn’t like vegetables. They were just a lot of trouble. You had to peel them, wash them, chop them and cook them. But I had to make peace with the vegetables,” says Anne. Her slimming solution for convenience: frozen veggies.

One of the most appetizing elements of the eDiets plan was that Anne didn’t have to completely change her daily routine, thanks to tools like the Dining Out Guide and the fast food substitution list. She could still go out to lunch with her co-workers, something that was extremely important to the self-admitted workaholic.

“I needed to get out of the office at lunch,” she tells eDiets. “That was really important for me. I already put in extra hours, and I didn’t want to work through lunch. If I brought lunch, people would come into my office and assume I was available.

“With the fast food selections, I could still eat at Wendy’s and stay on the plan. It’s not all hamburgers and fries. Between salads and chicken and chili, I could eat a normal lunch and not look like I was dieting to everybody.”

The meal plan began working wonders for Anne from the get-go. But it was the exercise that really turned her life around. At her highest weight, she was exhausted. Her feet ached, and it wasn’t uncommon for her to nap in the middle of the day on the weekends. Part of her problem was that she was carrying around an extra 80-plus pounds; the other part was that she didn’t exercise at all.

But Anne didn’t let her inexperience at exercise stop her. She got her start walking 10 minutes a day and worked her way up from there until she reached 35 minutes. She was hooked immediately. She added a walking session in the morning and began doing toning exercises as well.

These days she works out almost every day -- 90 minutes three days a week and 60 minutes the other four days. The Northeasterner walks whether rain or snow; she avoids outdoor activities when there is ice or snow on the ground. She stretches. She rides a stationary bike. Her fitness level is higher that it’s ever been before.

There is an irony in Anne’s tale of weight-loss triumph. While it was the possibility of a new job that inspired Anne to lose, it was her new lifestyle that encouraged her to quit her job last spring and do something more active. She chose to take some time for herself and bike ride with her 77-year-old father over the summer.

“He rides about 20 miles a day. I started riding with him when I was down to 175 and after that the weight started coming off real fast,” she says.

Between last June to November, she rode about 1,800 miles. Anne is quick to point out that you don’t need to go to extremes when it comes to a fitness regimen. She just happened to fall in love with all the physical activity.

“All I did was work. I was a workaholic. My reason for joining was to get a different job, but now it’s not all about work. I’m thinking of doing something else. I don’t want to sit at a desk. I was to do something active. I watch guys picking up the garbage and I think, ‘I could do that.’ Look how active they are. It’s not a bad job except for the smell.”

There are times when she misses her old fattening friends, but the feelings pass.

“If I’m in the grocery store and I’m hungry, I’ll walk by the chips aisles and miss the cheesy popcorn. I used to love it, but I keep walking because I don’t need it and I don’t love what it does to me.

“I used to eat a whole pint of Ben & Jerrys ice cream. I havent had any since I joined. Cake and ice cream used to be for special occasions. When did it become an every day event? Thats the kind of thinking I had to get out of my head. Not everything that goes in your mouth has to be yummy. You dont have to love everything you eat; it can be something palatable. Everybody likes apples, but wed all choose apple pie if you offer.

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» Health
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