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Team Beachbody Coach Rich Dafter
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From Covered Up To Cover Girl
My Joyous 36 Pound Journey Weight Loss Success Story

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

Since shedding 36 pounds with the world's leading online weight loss program, peppy-again Cheryl Bates has practically become a poster gal for eDiets.

Cheryl Overweight Not only did her trimmed-down image grace the cover of the October 21 issue of First For Women magazine, but our slimming superstar also appeared in her local newspaper where she raved about her favorite diet program.

Becoming a weight loss celebrity was the last thing Cheryl expected when she joined eDiets last January. For starters, she wasn't all that confident the extra weight would come off her 5'2" frame. And at 158 pounds, Cheryl did her best to avoid the limelight.

"I’ve always been the kind of person in the background," she tells eDiets from her Tennessee home. "To see myself as the person standing in front was a really neat experience.

"I feel like a million bucks. I love getting dresses. I love shopping for clothes. I like how I look now. I’m not embarrassed. I have more confidence, not just in how I look, but in everything.

"I make jewelry and I’m having a jewelry show in a few weeks. The old me wouldn’t have the confidence to go in business and talk to people. When I walk into a room, I feel like I can do anything now. It’s so weird how weight can affect you that way."

Cheryl Lost 36 Pounds Cheryl, 37, now weighs 122 pounds and sports a constant smile from the satisfaction that accompanies successful weight loss. Just last week she bought a pair of size 4 jeans. It wasn't that long ago that she was squeezing into size 14's. Cheryl says it was the "too tight clothes syndrome" that got her to think seriously about dieting.

“My size 14 jeans were so tight," she recalls. "I refused to buy a bigger size. I was like 'forget it... I’m not going to do this.' A few weeks before joining eDiets, I watched what I was eating. I didn’t have any kind of plan. I lost a couple of pounds, but I had had it.

“I kept seeing the eDiets banner everywhere while I was trying to do it on my own. I almost felt like somebody was trying to tell me something.”

Cheryl was miserable. In addition to being tired all the time, she was embarrassed about her appearance. Simple things like getting up in the mornings and putting on clothes were emotionally taxing. Cheryl wanted to run and hide before she put her trust in eDiets.

While browsing our website and seeing the sample shopping lists, recipes and meal plans -- plus the overwhelming amount of professional and peer support available 24/7 -- something clicked.

The first thing Cheryl had to do was divide and conquer the bad habits that had weighed her down for far too long. From late-night snacking to cleaning her overfilled plate at every meal, Cheryl had plenty of work to do. And that’s where the eDiets tools came in handy.

“I was excited about having the meal plan laid out for me so easy," she says. "I liked that I could have recipes or frozen meals, which meant I didn’t have to cook everything. I liked that I could change meals if I didn’t like something. It was all very convenient."

Although Cheryl had once been an avid Jazzerciser, it had been a long time since she attended classes. Embarrassed by her weight gain, she opted to do workout tapes in the privacy of her own home. She also got a treadmill. When those workouts got tiresome, Cheryl returned to Jazzercise class and now attends two to three times a week. Cheryl 36 Pounds Lighter Ive committed myself to exercising at least five days a week," she says. "When I go to Jazzercise, I do a 60-minute class. At home, I do 30 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of toning. I try to do 30 to 60 minutes when I do exercise. That is usually five or six days a week.

Despite being a fulltime mom to daughters Kayla, 12, and Noelle, 3, Cheryl still makes time for fitness. She gives credit to her husband Danny for lending a hand.

So what kept this former Weight Watchers member on track after what seemed like a lifetime of dieting failures? Cheryl says it was the support and motivation from family, friends and fellow eDieters.

“When I joined eDiets, I looked around the support boards," she says. "I posted that I was new and not sure what to do. I needed guidance. I got such a response from so many people. I was like, ‘Wow, people want to help me. They care about me.’"

Cheryl found an online family with the Soon-To-Be-Skinnies on the Stay-At-Home Moms board. The unconditional support was just the push she needed. Through thick and thin, her dieting companions were there with words of encouragement, even during the tough stretches when it felt like the scale needle wouldn't budge.

Their communication goes beyond posts and emails, says Cheryl. Not only do the women regularly chat by the phone, but they recently traveled from all over the country to meet in person in New Orleans. She also got to go to New York with three other eDieters to appear in the First For Women magazine spread on diets that work.

Cheryl never dreamed that she would forge lasting friendships on a computer website, especially after her not-so-great experience with the popular brick-and-mortar diet program. She says her Weight Watchers days left her feeling more like an outcast than an insider.

“I want to tell everybody YOU CAN DO IT!" Cheryl says. "I want to see people succeed. I want them to know what it feels like for me."

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