How a Woman Lost Over 200 Pounds



How One Woman Lost 120 Pounds On A Tight Budget

It wasn't until she was in early 40s that Ana Russell, 43, realized she needed to take better care of her health. After finding ways to eat better and exercise without spending a lot of money, she's dropped over 100 pounds and plan to continue losing.

When my husband proposed to me in 2012, I was ecstatic. He was the man of my dreams, and he was offering to give me my fantasy wedding. There was just one thing: I was 40 years old and 370 pounds at the time, and when I pictured myself in a wedding dress, I didn't see a sophisticated bride. So I said, "Yes, of course I want to marry you!" While in my head, I said to myself, "I don't want to look like a polar bear in a white dress." (Want to lose weight by exercising but don't have the time? Then try , the new workout program that only takes 10 minutes a day.)

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The proposal and upcoming marriage was like a new beginning for me, so it was a good opportunity to examine the health mistakes of my past.

ana russell before and after
ana russell

In the 1990s, I had a promising career in the hotel business, which sent me traveling all over the country and gave me a six-figure salary. The money helped me comfortably support my daughter, who was nearly 10 at the time, but the lifestyle yielded bad habits. The hotels allowed unlimited soda, and I drank an average of ten 24-ounce cokes a day. When I think back to what I ate for lunch, I cringe. My usual was the Bennigan's Monte Crisco, which consisted of a deep-fried ham and cheese sandwich with jelly and powdered sugar. All that plus the salad with the dressing and two 24-ounce cokes, for a total of over 3,000 calories—just for lunch.

MORE:The 8 Most Effective Exercises For Weight Loss

When I lost my job shortly after September 11, things went from bad to worse. I worked consulting jobs, which yielded less than half the salary I was making before. I had two more kids—a son in 2006 and a daughter in 2008. After my daughter was born, I blew up like a balloon. In 5 months, I gained more than 100 pounds. Then the father of my children passed away, leaving me with even more financial stress. I had a daughter in college and two younger ones to support, so I did what I could to survive. We ate what was cheap—lots of pasta and items from the dollar menu at McDonald's—inexpensive carbs, pretty much. I went into survival mode, and in the midst of it, I got depressed, spending lots of hours on the couch watching TV. (Feeling tired all the time? Here's 7 reasons why.)

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Meeting my current husband and getting engaged in May 2012 was the light at the end of this tunnel, but I still bore the burden of the weight I had gained trying to get by in the decade before. I gave myself the summer and then got serious about losing weight in fall 2012. We planned the wedding for September 2013.

With the wedding to plan for, I didn't want to spend a lot of money on getting fit. So to start, I cut out soda. I went from ten 24-ounce Cokes (yielding about 2,000 calories a day, just in soda) to one 12-ounce Coke (about 100 calories) per day. This was a huge calorie reduction, and within the first 2 months, I lost 30 pounds. My clothes were baggier, and I felt more energetic and cleaner. So I cut out the 12-ounce Coke and went without soda altogether. (Here are 4 foods that burn belly fat.)

My next step was exercise. I joined a new, inexpensive gym in my area that offered a great introductory rate. I knew if I had to pay for it, I would go. With no clue about how to work out, I jumped right on a treadmill and started walking. It was tough at first, but I slowly built up to 60 minutes of walking a day. Then I discovered Zumba and added that to my routine.

MORE:15 Teeny Tiny Changes To Lose Weight Faster

In terms of my diet, I educated myself. I learned about good carbs versus bad carbs and how to get more of the good ones into my diet. I ate lots of steamed vegetables and quinoa. When I ate out, I ordered everything on the side. I stopped eating after 7 PM.

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One of the things I am most proud of is that I achieved this healthy eating plan on a tight budget. People say it's too expensive to eat a clean, organic diet, but it really isn't—you just have to be creative. If you can't afford organic produce, there are ways to clean fruits and vegetables to remove most of the pesticides. Discount stores like Aldi sell healthy food at a great price. And you don't have to make special meals—bring your family along with you on your healthy eating journey. My husband and kids learned to eat like me, and they now too make better choices.

ana russell before and after
ana russell

By the beginning of May 2013, I had lost 100 pounds. I no longer felt like a polar bear, but I didn't feel as slender as I would have liked. I got to a point where I stopped losing weight, and with my wedding only 6 months away, I decided to kick it up a notch. I hired a trainer and spent a minimum of 14 hours a week at the gym. The trainer taught me circuit training, which challenged muscles I never knew I had. By the end of the summer, I lost an additional 40 pounds. (Hate running? Here are 10 exercises that burn more calories.)

On the day of my wedding, I felt like a million dollars. I was marrying my best friend, as a beautiful bride. I have maintained my weight loss since then, and I still feel like a million bucks. My kids are so proud of me. When he was little, my son used to say, "Mom is so squishy." Now he and my daughter are thrilled they can put their arms around my waist and hug me and that I can go outside with them and run around. I have a grandson too now, and I can get down on the ground with him and play.

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I still have some weight to lose, but I feel fabulous and I'm excited for what's to come. I've learned no matter what life throws at me, I have to stay healthy and strong. We are human beings and we're going to have hard times, but if you're healthy, you've won half the battle.






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Date: 15.12.2018, 02:38 / Views: 92561