Lost: 40 pounds, gained: more confidence than ever!


BEFORE: 161 lbs (scroll down to see photo)
AFTER: 121 lbs
Growing up, Brandi Byers stayed active by playing basketball and taking fitness classes, and she ate lots of salad. Still, her figure was more like "a football player's," she says, than like those of her slim, fit friends. And when she began attending Arizona State University, she grew careless with her eating habits. "My best friend and I got an apartment--and too many groceries," recalls the 29-year-old e-learning training consultant from Phoenix. "By sophomore year, my eating was out of control." Along with scarfing too many bagels and bowls of pasta, Brandi let her workouts wane. She packed 40 pounds onto her 5'3" frame in just 18 months.

A No-brainer Healthy Grocery List

THE CHANGE Several months before Brandi was to be a bridesmaid in her best friend's October 2009 wedding, she couldn't squeeze into the gown she'd ordered. "I could never tell my friend that I couldn't be in her wedding because my dress didn't fit!" she says. She vowed not only to sport the size-6 dress but to shed the extra pounds for good.

Find Your Motivation to Get Fit

THE LIFESTYLE Brandi started slowly, eating smaller meals and bringing snacks of veggies and fruit to work. To avoid flaking on workouts, she kept fitness clothes in her car and drove straight to the gym after work to jump on a stair-climber or catch a kickboxing or spin class and lift weights. "There was no room for excuses," she says. "I had done this to myself, and I was determined to undo it!" Brandi got down to 135 pounds--enough to fit into the bridesmaid dress. By September 2010, she reached her goal weight in time for her own wedding.

Crush More Calories with These Four Moves

THE REWARD Today, the bridesmaid dress that wouldn't zip is two sizes too big. And in addition to flaunting a much slimmer silhouette on her own big day, she proudly sported a bikini on her Cancun honeymoon. "I have more confidence than ever," she says, "and a lot more energy. I feel completely revived!"


BRANDI'S TIPS

Dress greens for success. "I mix lemon juice, olive oil, and Dijon mustard to drizzle on salads. It's delicious and saves calories."
Pass on seconds. "Those should be your leftovers. If you push the food away, then you'll get to enjoy it again the following day."
Trim your treats. "I order the children's size when it comes to ice cream and fro-yo. You need only a smidgen to satisfy a sweet tooth."
TELL US? What kinds of things have you done to successfully trim pounds?












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