oprah and shaniqua garvin

Photos: Before: Ruven Afanador. After: Ben Baker

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Losing weight is a blast!
Said no one ever. But the women we first featured in our pages last April signed up to do it anyway, hoping the rewards would be worth it. What’s more, they agreed to track their progress and share their honest results for the rest of us to learn from. While there were a fair number of ups and downs, the conclusion is unanimous: Regardless of pounds lost, much—in the way of knowledge and perspective—was gained.

Oprah Weighs In

After spending literally years on more diets than I care to count, I finally made the shift from dieting to a lifestyle change. Everyone is different, but for me what's worked is Weight Watchers. It's given me the freedom I crave. I haven't had to sacrifice foods I love. Or feel deprived and punished. Today I'm more conscious about what I eat, balancing indulgent things with healthier options. I leave the table feeling satisfied—and to me, that's far more important than any number on the scale. Though as I write this, I have to say: Nearing the 45-pound weight loss mark is a great feeling!