The Bikini Mom
Like many moms, Jennifer found herself battling baby weight after giving birth to her second child. Tipping the scale at 200 pounds, Jennifer says she was "sick of wearing big, black baggy clothes, a lot of makeup and big hair to try to change the way I looked." That's when she became determined to get fit—for herself and her children.
To get motivated, Jennifer set a goal to compete in a bikini contest—even though winning was a long shot at 70 pounds overweight. But after months of hard work, Jennifer reached her goal. "I was like an animal that had been unlocked out of the cage," Jennifer recalls. "My confidence went over the roof!" Jenny went on to become Miss Bikini America and was also named Miss Muscle and Fitness.
So how did a mother of two get a rock hard bikini body? By using a unique way to exercise and spend time with her children. For example, she keeps her legs in shape doing squats while using her toddler as a weight. Or, she sneaks kisses from her baby between push-ups. "I want mothers and mothers-to-be to know it won't be easy, but you can make it fun and it will happen," says Jennifer. "Just work hard, enjoy being a mother. Do it for them and do it for yourself, and you'll be the best mother you can be."
James's Food Swap
Meet James, a 22-year-old who says he's been obese since he was 5. "It was horrible," James says. "All through school people called me names. I had to drop out of college because I couldn't even fit in the desks. Sometimes I wouldn't even leave the house. I would sit home and cry and I realized I had to turn my life around."
So James came up with his own weight loss strategy: eat the same foods but with healthier ingredients. Instead of eating regular pizza, James now eats veggie pizza. Instead of snacking on regular chips, he eats baked ones. James used to eat fried chicken—now, he eats it grilled. Same food, less calories!
At his highest weight, James weighed 415 pounds. But after following his self-made diet for two and a half years, he lost 200 pounds! "I feel great," says James. "At 415 pounds I could barely make it to the corner. Now, I can run for an hour! Nothing's going to stop me now."
Win with Water
A self-described emotional eater, 34-year-old Timarie says she'd been battling her weight for years. After putting on 100 pounds in her 20s, Timarie says she started becoming quiet and introverted—and started to feel undeserving of certain opportunities.
But Timarie still wanted to be social and so she was set up on a blind date. Timarie and her date spoke on the phone for over a month before meeting. But when the two finally met face to face, she says he claimed to have a conference call and bailed out on their date. "I kind of stood there dumbfounded…I didn't even know how to react." Timarie says that was her turning point: "It was really at that point when I realized that I needed to take control of my life."
Timarie found success with a weight loss trick that helped her beat emotional overeating. When she feels hungry and craves something fattening, she'll have a glass of water and wait 15 minutes until the craving goes away. This trick has helped her lose over 114 pounds!
Today, Timarie says she feels confident and fabulous. And, she considers her blind date a blessing: "If it took something unfortunate to happen to me, if that's the kick in the butt I needed, then so be it!"
Printed from Oprah.com on
© 2014 OWN, LLC. All Rights Reserved.