Red-Hot Weight Loss

updated 06/02/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/02/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

KATHERINE STERLING
144 lbs.

LUCY ROJAS
128 lbs.

JESSICA KRAMER
143 lbs.

KIM SCHEFFLER
134 lbs.

NICHOLE JONES
135 lbs.

KATHERINE STERLING
WAS 275 LBS.

LUCY ROJAS
WAS 238 LBS.

NICHOLE JONES
WAS 240 LBS.

KIM SCHEFFLER
WAS 237 LBS.

JESSICA KRAMER
WAS 245 LBS.

NOW
LOST 102 LBS.!
"When I started, I could only run for five minutes a workout. But the more you do it, the more you build yourself up. I can run 30 minutes now!"

BEFORE
Kramer in McKeesport, Pa., in October 2003, at 230 lbs.

JESSICA KRAMER

AGE 22
HEIGHT 5'4"
OLD WEIGHT 245
NEW WEIGHT 143

DIET PLAN
Slimfast (two shakes per day, plus dinner and small snacks)

EXERCISE
60 minutes daily cardio

HOW SHE GOT STARTED
During her freshman year at Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pa., "people just weren't reaching out to me and wanting to be my friend—because I was heavy," says Kramer. "It really bothered me."

HOW SHE STAYS MOTIVATED
On Slimfast since January 2005, Kramer wants to lose another 13 lbs. to get down to 130. Still, she admits, "you can't say no to yourself all the time." To avoid feeling "like I'm depriving myself," she sometimes has a granola bar or a light frappacino drink instead of the shakes (keeping to the 180-calorie count). And when she's out with her boyfriend, "if he gets a cookie, it's okay—as long as I can have one bite."

HER SECRET FOR COPING WITH CRAVINGS
"I call Sunday my craving day," says Kramer. "So if I'm out with friends during the week and they have nachos with cheese, and I really want them, I save it for Sunday. That's the day I get to eat a doughnut too!"

NOW
LOST 105 LBS.!
"A year of doing cardio got the numbers on the scale down, but I didn't like the way I looked—I was saggy. Now I spend more time with weights."

BEFORE
Jones in New York in 2000 at 240 lbs.

NICHOLE JONES

AGE 34
HEIGHT 5'4"
OLD WEIGHT 240
NEW WEIGHT 135

DIET PLAN
Sparkpeople.com weight-loss support Web site

EXERCISE
Body boot-camp classes three times a week and a personal trainer once a week

HOW SHE GOT STARTED
While pregnant with her third child, Jones was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. "That put me over," says the business analyst from Wareham, Mass. "If I was going to have diabetes, I didn't want it to be because I didn't take care of myself."

HOW SHE STAYS MOTIVATED
"I crave sugar," Jones admits; in fact, in mid-January, "I had a big binge on chocolate chip cookies. But I blogged about it online, and everyone said, 'Just get back on track.'" To help stay there, Jones took up a hobby: bodybuilding competitions, entering her first one in April. "I didn't place, but the high from it was incredible. After I did it, I was like, Fat Nicole is gone! New Nicole is here!"

HER GO-TO HUNGER FIGHTERS
A 2.5-oz. can of tuna, which she eats as a protein boost on her way to the gym, and a 3-liter water jug "that I carry with me."

NOW
LOST 110 LBS.!
"I didn't actually choose my weight goal until six months into the program. I didn't want a number that would discourage me. I just started out making changes and committing to losing every week."

BEFORE
Rojas in Mexico City, in July 2005, at 238 lbs.

LUCY ROJAS

AGE 34
HEIGHT 5'2"
OLD WEIGHT 238
NEW WEIGHT 128

DIET PLAN
Weight Watchers exercise Cardio twice a week; trainer twice a week

HOW SHE GOT STARTED
At her heaviest, in August 2006, "everything was a struggle—shopping for clothes, walking up a flight of stairs," says Rojas, who works in the student affairs division at U.C. Santa Cruz.

HOW SHE STAYS MOTIVATED
"I used to be completely disciplined. I knew if I had one bite of fast food, I wouldn't be able to stop," says Rojas. "But now I know if I eat off my program one day, I just have to get back on the next day." She's also working toward a new goal: "I want to maintain my weight loss for about a year—and then get pregnant!"

HER DIET SURVIVAL KIT
Rojas always has the following on hand in case hunger strikes: string cheese, yogurt and 100-calorie cookie snack packs, "when I want something sweet."

NOW
LOST 103 LBS.!
"A lot of people who gain weight as they age think, 'This is a part of the aging process.' Yes, your metabolism does slow down—but you can do something about it!"

BEFORE
Scheffler with son Shane, in '02, at 237 lbs.

KIM SCHEFFLER

AGE 47
HEIGHT 5'6"
OLD WEIGHT 237
NEW WEIGHT 134

DIET PLAN
LA Weight Loss counseling program

EXERCISE
4-mile runs, four times weekly; 45 push-ups and 100 crunches daily

HOW SHE GOT STARTED
An ex-model and married mother of three, Scheffler "felt like I had fallen off a cliff" when in August 2006 the scale read 237 lbs. and her doctor "told me I had to lose weight. It was like, 'Whoa—what happened?'"

HOW SHE STAYS MOTIVATED
Scheffler, who runs a telephone systems business in San Antonio, says one of the hardest parts of her new lifestyle is that, "I had to quit eating out—and start learning to cook!" To spice up her meals, she experiments with flavors such as lime, cilantro and basil. And rather than give up alcohol, she switched from beer to "a glass of merlot with dinner."

BIGGEST DIET CHANGE
Old dessert: bowl of ice cream with brownies
New dessert: sugar-free Jell-O with a tablespoon of fat-free whipped cream

NOW
LOST 131 LBS.!
"The closer I get to my goal weight, the harder it is to lose," says Sterling. "So I used to work out four times a week, but now I do it every day."

BEFORE
Sterling at 275 lbs. in 2003.

KATHERINE STERLING

AGE 29
HEIGHT 5'7"
OLD WEIGHT 275
NEW WEIGHT 144

DIET PLAN
Weight Watchers

EXERCISE
Daily 5-mile runs

HOW SHE GOT STARTED
After having two kids—Brantly, 5, and Emily, 2—Sterling says she went from being "a little bit chunky" to "overweight and miserable. I'd go shopping and if I saw someone I knew, I'd head in the other direction."

HOW SHE STAYS MOTIVATED
"The biggest adjustment has been never feeling full," admits Sterling, a nurse in Gloucester, Miss., who wants to lose nine more pounds. "You just have to work through it." She does so by allowing favorites like "rice and gravy—but I measure everything. Eat anything you want, as long as you stick to the serving size." And if her stomach is still growling, she fills up with water.

HER BEST DIET TRICK
Eat on a schedule. Sterling has yogurt and a whole grain muffin at 8, Lean Cuisine french bread pizza at 12, and a handful of almonds or a tablespoon of peanut butter with an apple or orange at 4. And she always has dinner "before feeding my kids"; that way, she isn't tempted to nibble.

Share this story:

Your reaction:

advertisement

From Our Partners

From Our Partners