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See How I Lost 120 Pounds!

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

First there was Spider-Man. Then there was the Daredevil and the Hulk. Well, move over fellas and greet the new superhero of dieters... the Incredible Shrinking Woman... our very own eDiets success extraordinaire, Yolanda E!

During a 20-month span, this determined dieter zoomed from 267 to 147 pounds to lose 120 pounds. Furthermore, she stopped squeezing into skintight size 28s and began sporting comfortably snug size 10s!

And she couldn't have made such great strides without the help of her favorite weight-fighting sidekick,!

It didn't take magic pills, potions or fad diets to transform Yolanda, 26. Dropping 120 pounds was simply a matter of having a strong will to lose weight and a healthy way to reach her wellness goals.

From her home in Ohio, Yolanda tells eDiets she spent most of her life battling the bulge. By the time she entered the fifth grade, she was pushing 150 pounds. Being taller (she's 5'8") and heavier than her classmates left Yolanda feeling small in the self-esteem department.

“I can remember feeling uncomfortable around other teenage girls -- because the majority of them were skinny and fit and active -- and not really having an interest in social activities because I was so overweight," the curvy again computer programmer tells eDiets. "I always wore clothes that were baggy, trying to hide the fact that I was so heavy.

"I can remember as a child and as a teenager having family call me ‘Big Lon’ and having an uncle who my family would visit say to me as I walked in the door, ‘Hey, big girl!’

“I can remember not liking myself... not liking to look in the mirror because I did not like what I saw. I can remember never wanting to take pictures because I was so big. Then when I was persuaded to be in a photo, I remember the picture coming back and seeing how big I actually was."

Yolanda tried losing weight on her own. She started by doing the basic Tae-Bo video seven days a week. Although she was exercising regularly, Yolanda could only take so much of grilled chicken and veggies. She soon started slipping back into her old eating habits: huge helpings of pasta with Alfredo sauce and whole boxes of cookies and Nutrigrain bars... in one sitting.

By February 2002, Yolanda had hit rock bottom. It took a little tough love from a friend to revive her desire to diet right.

I was talking to my friend about how depressed I was about my weight and how it wasnt going well even though I was exercising," she recalls. "She said how do you expect to lose weight when you keep going out and eating pasta all the time?

"It was the push I needed to go ahead and make the decision to do eDiets."

After hopping on the eDiets bandwagon, Yolanda made the commitment to slim down once and for all. If it meant eating foods that were unfamiliar to her, she would open up and say ‘ah.’ If it meant drinking 64 ounces of water a day, she would keep a liter bottle on her desk. If it meant adding toning exercises to her workout regimen, then that’s what she would do.

“In my family, we eat a lot of soul food and fried food," she says. "I was raised on fried chicken, fried pork chops, macaroni and cheese, and turnip greens. This was a drastic change in eating habits.

"When I first got the shopping lists, I said ‘I’m not eating wheat germ and Wasa bread.’ Then I said ‘no Yolanda, you’re trying to change your lifestyle... try something new.'

“I tried it and I loved it. It was so easy. Everything is laid out for you. You don’t have to think about anything. You just do it. It’s not difficult at all.”

Yolanda would print out her weekly menu and add it to a folder specifically set up for her eDiets meal plan. In the morning, Yolanda would pull out the papers and look up her breakfast. She would also pack her lunch before going to work. By selecting the convenience plan, Yolanda didnt have to spend time in the kitchen.

In the beginning, Yolanda felt like she was eating too much food. But before long, her body got used to it and the weight began to melt away. Whenever she felt hungry, she sipped from the liter bottle of water she kept at her side.

And that's impressive because before eDiets Yolanda wasn’t a big fan of water. Yet, she forced herself to drink, knowing that a smaller rear end would justify the means. That was the mentality she kept throughout her weight loss journey. Her determination paid off -- she lost 5 pounds during the first week.

“The more results I saw, the more I knew I could do it," she says. "When I started I said I was going to dedicate one year of my life to following eDiets. Back then I thought it was more of a diet instead of a lifestyle change. I now know I could never go back to the way I was.”

Yolanda began increasing her fitness effort. In addition to her Tae Bo tapes, she did toning exercises. In August 2002, she joined her workplace fitness center. During her lunch break or after work, she found time to walk on the treadmill or ride her bike.

She's made tremendous strides on the treadmill. This past January, she started jogging on the treadmill and by last August she was covering 6 miles!

Although there were days she didn’t feel like exercising, Yolanda pushed herself. She kept telling herself exercise was one of the keys to weight loss and she never gave up. Today, she’s literally half the woman she used to be and she still can’t believe how far she’s come.

“I thank God for helping me help myself because I was in a bad way physically, emotionally and socially," Yolanda says. "Losing weight has done wonders for my confidence and self-esteem. The way I feel about my life now is that the sky is the limit...

“I feel that there is nothing that I can't accomplish as long as I have my action plan in place, am willing to make a commitment and change, make the sacrifices, work hard, stay focused and pray for guidance. I always said that there was nothing that I could not accomplish as long as I set my mind to it.

"But back then I think I only half-believed it. Now, not only do I believe it fully, but I live it each and every day.”

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