Lives in Peoria, IL
Would like to lose 40 pounds
"I've been to hell and back on every diet imaginable, especially those that promise 'quick' results. With each, I've promised myself that this is the one that will change my life. Because of each failure, I find myself in a quagmire of low-to-non-existent self-esteem and self-respect that only add to the thoughts that I don't deserve happiness. This self-loathing, plus my desire to be comforted by food, is what contributes to my weight gain. My goal is to lose 40 pounds and to put an end to the yo-yo diets and exercise programs that blanket my past."
Mentor: Becky Harding
Lives in Salt Lake City, UT
Has kept off 40 pounds for more than 16 years
"My life has changed so dramatically since I lost my weight (40 pounds). I've been able to fulfill my childhood dream of becoming an actress and a model. I love this opportunity to help someone else follow their dreams. One of the biggest 'blessings' of having lost the weight initially, is that each time when I start to gain some back (like right now there's 15 pounds I'd like to lose—and it has happened other times during my last 16-17 years) I just tell myself that I know I can lose it. Since I've lost weight before, I know it's not impossible or hopeless. So I've always been able to lose it again before it's gotten out of control.
"Also, I was told once that only about 5% of people that have had a big weight loss ever keep it off. So that makes me feel really good about my accomplishment. But rather than feeling complacent, it also keeps me on guard to know that I don't want to join the other 95%. I need to maintain my good habits and not fall into any of the traps that I'm warning Amy about."
Follow Up with Amy and Becky
"This program was a Godsend! I don't think I would have taken such steps to better myself if not for all of you working on this project. But like most everything, I had to do some work! I'm a great joiner. I join aerobics classes, health clubs, etc. The joining makes me feel like I am accomplishing something. But, like it or not, it was now my turn to work on myself," says Amy.
Amy says that she had the "If I don't see it, it doesn't exist" mentality. "If I didn't think about all of things I needed to change, if I didn't look in the mirror, if I didn't look inward, I didn't have to see it and...didn't have to deal with it! I think ostriches do that, don't they? This program was the wake-up call I needed to get me to look at all of those things I didn't want to look at."
Becky helped Amy take a no-nonsense approach to losing weight. Becky shared her struggles and successes, and taught Amy to value herself. "It was such a delight to share my ups and downs with her, knowing there wouldn't be any judgment and there wouldn't be any disappointments: just encouragement to either jump up and down for meeting my goals or a dose of encouragement to continue even though I may have had a setback. Becky was a great person to lay it all on! I quickly found that I stayed on track. I was accountable to her but, more importantly, to myself," says Amy.
"My self-esteem has soared. I have renewed confidence. I take more challenges...I have a new job...I am setting off on new territory, which most certainly would have prevented me from taking the first step. I'm meeting more people and am truly enjoying expanding my comfort zone. I have decided to run another marathon with my dad and my sister for the Leukemia Society. I know I can make a difference in other's lives and better my own in the process," says Amy.