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A Picture Is Worth A Story Weight Loss Success Story

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

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but just one word came to mind when Tina Hardison gazed upon the unflattering family photo shown below. That word was FAT! The 33-year-old administrative assistant was shocked by the image that had captured the real Tina... complete with all the weight she had gained over the years. A depressing moment for sure, however the photo incident did inspire our featured eDieter to get her life back on track for good.

Active by nature, Tina had always been slim and trim. It wasn’t until the birth of her second child nine years ago that the pounds began to creep on... and stay on. Three knee surgeries didn't help. The more her activity level dwindled, the higher her weight went. Tina admits she became complacent, even comfortable with her state of well-being.

Weight woes were practically the furthest thing from her mind. There were too many other things to worry about. Tina and her husband had accepted job transfers that would jet their family halfway across the world to Mannheim, Germany.

Tina stood 5’7" and weighed 210 pounds. It was the heaviest she had ever been in her life. The stress of the move only added to her weight problem.

Tina 63 Pounds Overweight My weight ballooned when I got over here, Tina tells eDiets from her home in Germany. Theres a lot of stress being in a foreign county and not knowing anybody. The company didnt help us at all. They brought us over here and basically said youre on your own.

Even though she ignored her extra pounds, there was no denying the physical effects. Tina, also known as eDieter SWEETPEA1999, recalls feeling tired all the time. Her size 16 clothes were getting tight -- she often had to lie down on her bed to squeeze into pants. She didn’t feel very good about herself.

But Tina didn’t realize just how much weight she had gained until she saw the photo that would change her life. What the mother-of-two had failed to see in the mirror, she saw in that snapshot.

“When I got that picture, I was like, ‘who is that person?’” she recalls.

Tina Lost 63 Pounds Tina holds the picture near and dear to her heart and keeps it close at hand. After all, its the face that launched her into a healthy new lifestyle. Less than one year after joining eDiets, Tina is 63 pounds lighter and wears a size 10. At 147 pounds, shes no longer plagued by chronic exhaustion or poor self-image.

Tina joined eDiets in November but admits everything didn't come together for her until this past January. She says one day it all just clicked.

“I didn’t start when I signed up. I actually started in January. Once I got into it, I really liked the program. It was what I needed. It told me, ‘you need to do this, this and this.’”

After reviewing the eDiets menus, Tina knew she had plenty of work ahead of her. She had a soft spot for hearty home cooking. Meat and potatoes topped her list of fattening favorites. Once she began preparing eDiets original recipes, it didn’t take Tina long to figure out where she had gone wrong all along.

“I was astonished when I started weighing stuff and finding out what I was really eating. I had been sitting down to four or five helpings, thinking it was just one. It really shocked me.”

Despite the fact she lived in Germany where some of the recommended foods aren’t easily obtained, Tina made eDiets work for her. She tailored the meal plan to include local foods.

The first week she lost four to five pounds. From that point on, it was a slow yet steady loss as the pounds lost piled up over time. But it wasn’t always easy, especially when it came to getting physical. Tina had been athletic up until problems with her knee limited her activity. She would exercise occasionally, but nothing on a regular basis until joining eDiets.

Tina, a civilian who works on a U.S. Army base, varies her exercise regimen, going to the gym one day and sweating to workout videos the next. Some nights she jogs with her dogs. Other nights she concentrates on toning exercises.

“I started with Richard Simmons and Denise Austin -- those video workouts about killed me. Now, I am up to kickboxing and jogging. My knee hardly gives me any problems whatsoever.”

Tina Lost 63 Pounds Even with a busy schedule, Tina manages to find time for exercise. It could be going to the gym at lunch or walking around the base while her children (Chad, 15, and Caroline, 9) attended soccer practice. Tina says her family, particularly husband John, played a big role in keeping her motivated. Not only would John reward her with presents as she met her mini-goals, but he also provided constant encouragement.

“We would be sitting on the couch after dinner and he would say, ‘I’m going to read. You can have the TV for your exercise videos.’ He is a really big motivator,” Tina says.

Tina also tapped into the support from like-minded folks on the European and Survival Challenge support boards. On days she felt down, she’d pop into one of the popular eDiets chat rooms and talk to people who were going through the same thing. Tina says the online support made weight loss challenges bearable.

From the lower number on the scale to her shrinking clothing size, Tina has had plenty of reasons to stay motivated. She has more energy and that comes in handy when she goes shopping for new, smaller-size clothing.

“It all works hand in hand," she says. "eDiets is great because it lays it out for you. It teaches you how to live. Look at me! But it must be in your mind. In order to do it, you have to want it.”

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