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- January 11, 2010
- Vol. 73
- No. 1
These Relatives Found That Losing Weight Was Easier Doing It Together
JILL PULLIAM & ROBIN GUNTHER
NOW 151 LBS.
THEN 263 LBS.
NOW 133 LBS.
THEN 289 LBS.
For sisters Robin Gunther and Jill Pulliam, bonding meant spending Saturday morning at one of their Baltimore homes with "a dozen donuts and coffee with cream and sugar," says the 5'6" Pulliam, 35, an administrative assistant. "Then we'd go to the mall," adds the 5'3" Gunther, 45, an executive at Macy's, "but it wasn't about going to shop—it was about where would we eat!" It was during one of those outings in 2008 that Gunther finally had her lightbulb moment: "I had to buy jeans—in a size 26," she recalls. "I'm like, it's mail order after this." She signed up for Weight Watchers—and persuaded her sister to join her. The two started eating fiber-rich cereals and protein-heavy salads ("We'd text about what we were eating," Pulliam says), and walking on a treadmill for exercise. "It made such a difference to do it together," Gunther says. "We didn't want to let each other down."
MOTHER AND SON
DIANA & MICHAEL CANTU
NOW 142 LBS.
THEN 333 LBS.
NOW 162 LBS.
THEN 270 LBS.
Fried chicken tenders, fettuccine Alfredo and broccoli-cheese soup used to be dinner staples for the Cantu family: Diana, 51, her husband, Daniel Gonzalez, 51, and their sons Michael, 16, and Daniel Jr., 15. But whereas Daniel and Daniel Jr. didn't gain weight, the 5'4" Diana, a director for AT&T Labs, became so obese she could no longer fit into a conference room chair. "I knew I was out of control," she says. In 2007 she started Jenny Craig, slashing her 5,000-calorie-a-day diet to 1,700 and walking 10,000 steps a day near the family's Austin, Texas, home. She then turned her attentions to Michael, for whom walking had become difficult. "How do you talk to your son about weight and not make him feel bad?" Diana says. But the 6' Michael says he understood "that my mom really cared." He started eating portion-controlled frozen diet meals and doing cardio—and today, he and his mother are closer than ever. "We're little weight-loss buddies!" she says.
KIM NICHOLSON & TOM NICHOLSON
NOW 133 LBS.
THEN 285 LBS.
NOW 195 LBS.
THEN 295 LBS.
Kim Nicholson was only 34 years old when her doctor put her on medication for high blood pressure. "I had high cholesterol and was prediabetic," she recalls. "That's what finally put me over the edge." She started Weight Watchers in 2007—and within nine months, her husband, Tom, who had a family history of heart disease, decided to join her. Over the months, their mutual weight loss effort became "a friendly competition," says the 5'8" Tom, 40, a sales rep. "If one of us fell off the horse, we'd pick each other up." Tom began packing grilled chicken burgers for lunch, while Kim started cooking meals like salmon and vegetables and whole wheat spaghetti with turkey meatballs for dinner. The Riverview, Fla., couple also began doing cardio together, be it bike riding or training for a 5K race. And they're united on one other front: the need for a regular "cheat day." Says the 5'4" Kim, now 39, a stay-at-home mom to sons Carson, 9, and Kyler, 7: "We still get chips and queso once a week. That's not something we're willing to give up!"
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