"My Friends Helped Me Lose 45 Pounds"
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Fitness

"My Friends Helped Me Lose 45 Pounds"

Helpful girlfriends motivated Kelly McPherson to hit the gym, where she shaped up and trimmed 45 pounds off her frame.

"I Did It!"

Name: Kelly McPherson Age: 30 Height: 5'6" Her Weight Before: 175 Her Weight After: 130 Pounds Lose: 45 At Current Weight: 2 years

Three years ago, Kelly McPherson weighed 175 pounds and felt too busy to work out or eat right. But when she integrated healthy habits into her hectic life, off came 45 pounds. "Grilling my own chicken is as fast as hitting the drive-through," says the part-time teacher and mom of two in Blacksburg, Virginia. "And the energy I get from running early in the morning actually helps me be more productive all day."

The Freshman 16 -- and Then Some

Kelly played sports in college, but too much pizza and fried food took her from 135 to 151 pounds. Post-college, her inactivity caused her weight to climb. And after she had two babies in her mid-20s, she felt sluggish and exhausted. A complete physical was a wake-up call. "My cholesterol was sky-high; my doctor told me I'd be on meds at 30 if I didn't change my lifestyle," she says.

Sayonara, Snooze Button

Kelly enlisted some girlfriends to hit the gym with her at dawn. "I began by walking about a mile every day and doing light strength training several times a week." She also cut out fast food and reduced portion sizes. "I even left a measuring cup in the granola so I could scoop a quarter cup quickly without guessing," she says. Kelly started losing about two pounds a week. Soon, she was running instead of walking, and within six months she was down to her current 130.

Now she can't imagine life without her a.m. workout. "I have my friends meet at my house to run; if they're standing outside waiting, I can't blow it off."

Kelly's Weight-Loss Plan

The Diet: Breakfast is a bagel with peanut butter and an orange. At lunch, Kelly has tuna fish and tomato on whole wheat with a scoop of trail mix. Dinner is grilled chicken, brown rice, and steamed asparagus. She snacks on low-fat yogurt and protein bars.

The Workout: Kelly runs or cycles 60 minutes six times a week; she also strength-trains three times a week and does Pilates once a week.

Biggest Temptation: Pizza. "I still eat pizza, but without the meat. I also eat a salad first to feel fuller."

What She Couldn't Wait to Wear: Anything sleeveless. "I used to cover my arms at all costs; now I have some definition and can wear tank tops without being embarrassed."

Originally published in Fitness magazine, May 2006.

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