Before: 250 pounds
After: 145 pounds
While Gina Dean, 28, remembers always being heavyset, she really began to pack on pounds in college. “A lot of people might call it the freshman 15, but I call it out-of-control eating habits,” Gina says. She started her freshman year at 160 pounds, but was close to 200 by the end of the year. Eventually her weight crept up to 250 pounds. “I ate fried food, fattening foods, and Mountain Dew was like my water,” Gina recalls.
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The Turning Point
When her grandmother passed away, Gina began to do a little soul searching. “After my grandmother’s funeral, I realized I had to change emotionally, mentally, and physically,” Gina says. “I was tired of feeling tired.” About a month after her grandmother’s death she joined an informal “Biggest Loser” contest among her friends.
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Gina gave up the junk foods she used to love cold turkey. She began eating baked, broiled, and boiled chicken and fish—no more fried foods. “Fruits and veggies became my best friends,” she says. “So did water.” Additionally, she drank green tea once or twice a day to help boost her metabolism. (Search: Foods that boost metabolism)
Along with eating better, Gina started working out. Initially she’d walk for 30 to 40 minutes a day on the treadmill and log about 20 minutes on the stationary bike. After weeks of just doing cardio, her friends suggested she start lifting weights to help burn fat. “I use free weights and the weight machines, and do ab workouts,” she says. She’s also started running 5-Ks.
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One key to Gina’s success has been her desire to help other people. “When friends, family, or strangers ask me for advice, their eagerness to get fit and lose weight keeps me going because I feel like everybody is counting on me,” Gina says. “It's a great feeling to be able to help others out.”
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Going from a size 18 or 20 to a 6 or 8 makes the mall a lot more fun. “I’m not depressed going shopping anymore—I buy clothes in the junior’s section now,” she says.
Be your own supporter. “Keep telling yourself to keep going,” she says. “You need to have your mind and heart set to stay on track.”
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Weight Loss Before and After: Gina Dean
She Gave up Junk Food Cold Turkey and Lost 105 Pounds
Image: Gina Dean
Before: 250 pounds