Need Inspiration to Lose Weight?
These men and women transformed their bodies through healthy eating and a dedication to fitness.
1. Jovana Borojevic: Lost 139 Lbs.
Jovana’s story is pretty awesome, she never cared about how much she weighed and she was comfortable in her body. Till she started experiencing health issues, she was diagnosed with fatty liver thanks to her fast food heavy diet. She knew she was overweight, but she was dumbstruck to see her cross the 300 lbs mark on the scale.
Jovana spoke to People, “I never in my life imagined that I would see a ‘3’ in front of my weight,” Borojevic, who hit 304 lbs. and had developed fatty liver disease from her fast food-heavy diet, all while dealing with Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, tells PEOPLE. “From this day forward, something clicked in me and I changed my life around cold turkey.”
What she did was something very simple, she immediately cut out starchy carbs, refined foods, sugar, and most packaged food and started working out 4-5 times a week. The result was she lost 20 lbs, this kept her going and now year and half later she is 165 lbs, with a goal of 150 lbs.
2. Allie Ruby: Lost 98 Lbs.
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Things were great for Allie till she went to college and given to her poor college eating habits left her at 225 lbs. Ruby always dreamed of 6 packs, and she did that so brilliantly losing 95 lbs first. She started weight lifting as she wanted to be strong as well as lean.
“It’s so different, because no one cares about your image. It’s all about how strong you are,” Ruby “I love it.”
3. Janice “JJ” Jobity: Lost 120 Lbs.
Jobity was always fit growing up, but when she was mistreated in a relationship, she turned to food to cope. By 2015 she hit 260 Lbs, and her health took a toll. She suffered from sever stomach ulcer thanks to years of soda. What helped her are bootcamp classes and sought counselling to deal with her emotional issues.
4. Naomi Teeter: Lost 150 Lbs.
Naomi struggled most of her life with her weight, yet she ignored her mounting health problems. She had excess water retention in both her knees, eczema breakouts and severe acid reflux till one day she decided to make a change. Now she is marathon runner, loves climbing mountains, and skydiving which she never thought she would be able to do.
5. Tara Kavanagh: Lost 145 Lbs.
Tara was already 200 lbs when she had her first child, and by the age of 35 and after 2 more children her pregnancy weight crossed 300 lbs. This is when she decided something needs to be done. She did not just want to exist she wanted to live the life to its fullest and be active with her children. It was not simple for her, but she was focused, disciplined and wilful. Making small smart choices like eating unprocessed, non GMO, and organic food she started to get her back.
6. Helen Costa-Giles: Lost 90 Lbs.
Helen a mother of two did not bothered about her excess weight despite she was 220 lbs, until her vitals started to get all messed up. She went to her doctor and she was shocked to know she is slowly developing all sorts of life threatening and chronic health problems. Determined for a better health she took it as a challenge in six months without too much exercise she lost 90 lbs, her secret was clean eating. Later she started weightlifting which soon became her hobby.
7. Marie Byrne: Lost 70 Lbs.
Mary, 45 crossed 223 lbs and she was only 5’3″ thats a really bad BMI. She started cutting down her portion size of her meals to reduce her weight after her blood pressure started to jump out of the roof. She lost 70 lbs. by taking small steps at a time, exercising slowly. Never giving an excuse to walk your dog.
8. Brittany Greenslit: Lost 109 Lbs.
At 223 lbs, Britany was pregnant with her first child, but due her weight she went through some serious complications during her C section. Which completely changed her, she started doing pilates, walking and Yoga. Her secret was, she never gave up, no matter how sore she was she always showed up for her next workout session.
9. Alicia Steele: Dropped from Size 10 to 2
Alicia gained her weight she was going through her menopause. She believed may be things are supposed to be like this, but she got inspired and dropped 4 sizes once she started T-TAPP METHOD.
10. Megan McGee: Lost 70 Lbs.
Megan started to gain weight post a bad relationship. The emotional eating soothed her mind but made her body piled up all that junk. She took to skipping meals and stopped junk snack once and for all. Started doing exercised in group.
11. Laura Hyman: Lost 103 Lbs.
Laura at the age of 54, a grandmother who took care of everyone but herself. She started her journey in 2015 with her husband, and lost 100 lbs using the Isagenix program.
Laura Hyman‘s weight reached 264 lbs. because she was used to “talking care of everyone else but myself,” the now 54-year-old grandmother tells PEOPLE.
“I fuel my body and don’t eat for emotional reasons,” she says. “I feel better than I did in my 20s.”
12. Rebin Roy: Lost 126 lbs
She did quit smoking when she was pregnant but never cared to eat healthy. She loved her happy hours, and the result was she was 246 lbs. She joined Weight Watchers and dropped from 248 lbs. to 122 lbs. by watching her portions.
13. Hannah Jenkins: Lost 107 lbs.
Overeating was an everyday habit for her, she and her sister never stopped eating sugar laden packaged foods. Everything changed for after she went to college and realised she was not comfortable with her body. Her weight loss journey started in 2013 and it was not very long she started getting results.
14. Tanisha Washington: Lost 103 Lbs.
Tanisha at 21, was 276 lbs leading a unhealthy diet lead her to gain this much weight. She started eating low carb and high protein Atkins diet leading to a successful weight loss journey where she lost more than 100 pounds.
15. Hollie Barrett: Lost 124 Lbs.
At 30 she reached 249lbs, even being in a job where she was quit active unhealthy lifestyle resulted in her weight gain. She was motivated to lose weight so that she could enjoy playing with her kids and be more active with them. She got inspired by her friend who lost significant weight using slimming world weight loss program.
16. Sarah Goodenough Lost 158lbs
Sarah struggled with her weight (300 lbs) mainly because of her demanding job as a nurse. She was falling for many ailments when she decided to start making small changes in her eating. After a year on plant based diet, cutting down dairy and processed meat completely she lost 100 lbs. Yes you heard it right, through eating changes alone she lost all her excess weight.
17. Nathan & Brenda Bennett: Lost 130 & 131 Lbs.
This husband and wife duo showed how fun it can be if you try to make weight loss a team effort. At 40 weighing around 260 lbs both of them, wanted to lead a active life. All they did was cut out sugar started to track calories and regular exercises.
18. Jessica Battle: Lost 115 Lbs.
Jessica was 280 lbs when she only 20, and the wake up call came when her father had an heart surgery. She started slow, doing easy workouts at her home. She also did not make sudden changes to her food, she took it slow and got rid of all the bad eating habits once and for all.
19. Karyl Mullins: Lost 100 Lbs.
At 34, Mullins was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. She began to cut down her portions and picked up kickboxing and runs regular marathon now.
20. Gillian Faith: Lost 110 Lbs.
Faith now 41, started to gain and reached 220 lbs after her first baby at 21. She was never bothered about the excess weight. Things changed after her third pregnancy and divorce when she realized she want to take her life in her control. But she took it too far and developed anorexia and bulimia. But later after she started body building things became better.
21. Rebecca Grafton: Lost 104 Lbs.
At 25 during her stay in France, where she happily spent a semester eating pastries and that continued later too until she reached 246 lbs. During a vacation she found the courage and determination to lose her excess weight so that she can fit into her favorite bathing suit and look gorgeous and thats what happened. Enough proteins, low carbs, no sugar and exercises are the basic principles she followed.
22. Mackenzie Walker: Lost 102 Lbs.
She was 16 and happily ate pizza for her breakfast and drank 10-15 sodas every day and the result is obvious she was 223 lbs. She finally understood how bad it is for her after her father had a gastric bypass surgery. She tracked her macros, started working out to build muscle which is key for your weight loss success.
23. Jana Roller: Lost 135 Lbs.
The professional photographer weighed 307 Lbs. when a traumatic incident changed every aspect of her life. Her son almost got hit by a car because she couldn’t catch up with him and pull him on time. She weighed so much that even getting up after sitting took a while. The ‘aha’ moment changed her forever and she took up bodybuilding.
24. Jeanine McDonald: Lost 77 Lbs.
The mom-of-four, 39, fell into unhealthy eating habits after having kids.
“I made dinner for the boys and ate what they ate,” she told PEOPLE. “I did not take the time to prepare healthy dinners, as it’s very hard when you’re a full-time employee and mother of four.”
Her kids opened her eyes up when they called her she is really fat. No mom want to set this kind of bad example so she decided to get healthy. She never missed on on her workouts on days she either got baby sitters on other nights she worked out at home after her kids went to bed.
“When I started going to the gym, I made a promise to myself: ‘If I’m not happy and healthy, my kids won’t be either,’ ” she said.
25. Vanetza Cines: Lost 26 Lbs.
The military officer, 29, took up bodybuilding to be an inspiration to her troops.
“I was supposed to be a leader of soldiers, and I could barely pass the Army physical test,” Cines who weighed 200 lbs. at her highest.
“A lot of people think getting in shape is getting a six-pack, but that’s not what it’s about,” she says. “The best part of getting in shape is the self-confidence and my overall outlook on life.”
26. Alex Perrineau: Lost 142 Lbs.
The Los Angeles-based student, 22, reached 310 lbs. at her highest. The self-proclaimed “emotional eater” ate fast food for almost every meal, and was teased throughout school.
“Deep down, I knew wasn’t comfortable living the way I was,” she told PEOPLE. So she decided to try Jenny Craig to finally make a lasting change.
Her Best Weight Loss Tip: “Don’t commit to something that feels like a burden. I love Jenny Craig because I don’t have to think about what to cook. Experiment and find what works for you.”
27. Erika Cockrell: Lost 167 Lbs.
Cockrell, 30, had struggled with her weight since high school and “used food as an emotional pick-me-up” through the years as she dealt with her parents’ divorce and problems with her own marriage.
When Cockrell reached 309 lbs., she decided to turn her life around and used My Fitness Pal to log her food intake.
“I’m a firm believer in finding what works for you. For me it was all calories in, calories out,” Cockrell told PEOPLE in the 2017 Half Their Size issue.“It’s like a eureka moment where you’re like, ‘I can do this.’ ”
28. Joanne Raymond: Lost 133 Lbs.
Raymond, 49, had lost 100 lbs. twice before she decided she was finally going to keep the weight off for good.
“Even though I’ll be 50 in May, my body is the best it has been in my entire adult life,” she told PEOPLE in the 2017 Half Their Size issue. “I’m so proud.”
29. Christina Jordan: Lost 134 Lbs.
Jordan, 34, hit her low point when she was kicked off a Disneyland ride after being unable to buckle the seatbelt.
“I started reading everything I could find on holistic nutrition,” the mom-of-three said in PEOPLE’s 2017 Half Their Size issue. “I decided to stop stressing about being skinny, and just focus on being healthy — wherever my body decided to take me.”
Jordan — who weighed 271 lbs. at her heaviest — began eating five to six meals a day that each include a lean protein, a complex carbohydrate and a healthy fat.
30. Diana Anguh: Lost 140 Lbs.
Anguh’s fast food habits lead her to reach 275 lbs. when she was in high school.
“I would buy a whole box of pizza and eat it all by myself really quickly so no one knew, and hide the boxes under my bed,” the executive chef, 24, told PEOPLE in the 2017 Half Their Size issue.
“My life has drastically changed — I feel like I’m more confident in going for what I want.”
31. Lindita Halimi: Lost 130 Lbs.
Growing up in war-torn Kosovo, Halimi, now 27, often didn’t know when her next meal would be. When the war ended, Halimi overcompensated by eating whole pizzas and entire jars of Nutella.
The singer reached 250 lbs. between the ages of 17 and 20, and was bullied for her weight, with classmates calling her an elephant. When a woman on the bus mistook Halimi for a pregnant person, she decided she needed to lose weight.
32. Ashley O’Reilly: Lost 135 Lbs.
O’Reilly, 21, started putting on weight when she got her driver license at 16 and began frequenting fast food restaurants, getting up to 250 lbs. in two years.
After hitting a low point during her sophomore year of college when a friend refused to be seen sitting next to her in class, O’Reilly decided to try Nutrisystem. Her new diet coupled with exercise helped her drop 135 lbs.
“I’m in so much better health now, but the big thing is I feel good about myself,”
33. Adrienne Osuna: Lost 2 Lbs. (and Gained Muscle!)
Osuna is proof that physical transformations don’t always correlate with the number on the scale.
“Women should go based on how they feel and look,” the Santa Maria, California-based photographer told PEOPLE. “Freedom from the scale is so liberating!”
“I finally decided I was going to focus on what my body could do and what it’s capable of instead of what it weighed,” she said.
34. Michael Lachowicz: Lost 194 Lbs.
The professional chef hit 432 lbs. thanks to a combination of unhealthy lifestyle factors.
“My addiction is food, booze and narcotics,” Lachowicz, 46, told PEOPLE in the 2017 Half Their Sizeissue. “Everything worked in tandem. Drugs and alcohol reduced my inhibitions, so I didn’t have a lot of remorse about eating ridiculous amounts of food.”
35. Kim Carter Martinez: Lost 170 Lbs.
When Carter Martinez hit her highest weight of 344 lbs., her mobility became limited not only because of her weight, but because of her struggle with arthritis. In order to be eligible for knee replacement surgery to help alleviate her arthritis pain, the Oakland, California-based labor union employee was told she needed to lose 50 lbs.
“Life was really hard before — there were so many times that I had to say no to social situations because I couldn’t walk around, but now I don’t have to say no to things anymore,” she told PEOPLE. “I can pick what I want to do and be able to do it.”
36. Jennifer Ginley: Lost 135 Lbs.
Ginley, 26, was so self-conscious about her weight that she did not want her longtime boyfriend to propose to her, because she didn’t want to be an overweight bride.
“I reached my target weight just over a year after joining, and just before Christmas [my boyfriend] Luke asked me to marry him at Harry Potter Studios in London (I love Harry Potter)!” she told PEOPLE. “It was such an incredible feeling to be able to say ‘Yes!’ without even a second thought about my weight, and I can’t wait to go dress shopping.”
37. Alexa Saddington: Lost 85 Lbs.
Saddington, 34, dropped the weight with the Cambridge Weight Plan, which sets you up with a consultant who creates custom meal plans that include ready-made healthy meals.
“It has changed my life,” Saddington, who cut out alcoholic cider, chips, candy and takeout and replaced them with healthy foods, told PEOPLE.
“I feel like a different person,” she said. “I always wanted to go to Ibiza but I never had the self-confidence to go, and never felt like I would fit in. I just booked to go with my sister for a week. I feel like that would be a great way to end my weight loss journey.”
38. Emily Powers: Lost 120 Lbs.
Powers, 24, was inspired to get healthy for her three children.
“They deserved more,” the daycare worker who was 273 lbs. at her highest weight told PEOPLE. “I could barely even take my kids for a walk. At the park, I’d sit on the bench and watch them rather than play with them.”
39. Peggy Pullen: Lost 80 Lbs.
Pullen, 48, first put on weight due to medical complications stemming from her first pregnancy, but it wasn’t until a boy at a local pool called her a hippopotamus in front of her whole family that she felt inspired to lose weight.
“It was in front of my children,” she told PEOPLE. “It was horrible. I went home and cried a lot, but I realized kids learn from what you do, not what you say — and that’s what kept me pushing.”