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FITNESS | HOW I DID IT

Her Journey to Joy

It Took 6 1/2 Years, but She Dropped 91 of Her Peak 221 Pounds

January 05, 1998

When I was a senior in high school, I was at my highest weight ever--221 pounds. I attended my senior prom in 1990 wearing a size 18 dress.

Then, that fall, I entered my first semester of college and contracted mononucleosis. Because of being sick for a month, I lost 20 pounds. I discovered I liked the way I looked and felt. I decided I was going to try to lose more weight the correct way.

A friend in one of my classes led me to Overeaters Anonymous. Sticking with their program for the next six months, I lost 40 more pounds.

I kept the 60 pounds off for six years.

Last January, I made a commitment to myself to finish the weight-loss journey that I had started so many years ago. I began watching my portions and noticing the effects of different foods on my body. I would start each morning before work by exercising to a workout video.

For Valentine's Day, I gave my husband a box of chocolates and he gave me a treadmill. That was the best gift exchange I ever made. By walking four miles each morning on the treadmill and watching what I ate, I was able to lose 31 pounds.

Now, with a total weight loss of 91 pounds, I feel like a different person. For the first time in years, I weigh less than the weight I lied about on my first driver's license. I set small goals to keep myself motivated. Last year, I walked my first 5K race and this year I plan to run it.

The power of God, the encouragement from friends and the support and love from my husband kept me on track. Losing weight is a hard battle to fight alone. I'm glad I didn't have to.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

Vital Statistics

Name: Heidi Barsam

Age: 25

Occupation: Administrative assistant

Old weight:

221 pounds

New weight:

130 pounds

Time to get there:

6 1/2 years

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