SPECIAL OFFER: - Limited Time Only!
(The ad below will not display on your printed page)
Name: Alyce Manzo
Her Weight Before: 198
Her Weight After: 130
Pounds Lost: 68
At Current Weight: 3 years
Before Alyce Manzo changed her diet four years ago, she changed her mind-set. "I knew I'd fail if I didn't understand why I'd gotten heavy in the first place," says the Queens, New York, tutor, then 198 pounds. "For years, I ate to manage my emotions. Now I ride my bike, listen to music, or write in my journal -- and I'm 68 pounds slimmer."Emotional Eating
In Alyce's family, food meant love. She grew up on big portions of pasta and pastries and was a chubby child. Despite dance classes and playing tennis, she reached 178 pounds by high school and then gained another 20. "I loved to go out dancing but quit because I felt so self-conscious," she says. Yet she wasn't ready to make a change until one day when she was having lunch. "I was eating a huge eggplant Parmesan sandwich and it hit me -- I wasn't remotely hungry. I had to ask myself, Then why are you eating this?"Mini Steps to Fitness
To get the answer, Alyce combed through old photos. "I considered how I felt about myself at different points in my life, and I realized how much I relied on food for comfort," she says. At the same time, she set small goals to get active, like walking more and taking the stairs. Then came diet changes -- more fish, whole-grain bread, beans, and vegetables -- and walking for short spurts on the treadmill. She lost 8 pounds the first month and 60 more once she increased her workouts to an hour, five days a week.
Alyce is also back dancing. "I feel sexy and comfortable enough with myself to be out on the floor."
The Diet: For breakfast, Alyce has an egg-white omelet, whole wheat toast, and grapefruit. Lunch is a vegetable wrap, black beans, and brown rice. Dinner is salmon, salad, and couscous. She snacks on peaches and whole wheat crackers.
The Workout: 45 minutes on the treadmill, elliptical trainer, or stair machine four days a week; an hour of yoga or weight training three or four times a week.
Biggest Temptation: Homemade chocolate chip cookies. "If I deny myself, I'll end up bingeing, so I limit myself to one and really savor it."
What She Couldn't Wait to Wear: Super-snug jeans. "I used to leave my jeans unbuttoned and cover everything with a huge sweater. Now they feel great zipped up!"
Originally published in Fitness magazine, April 2006.