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"I Cut Down on Junk Food and Lost 70 Pounds"

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Christi Lee Palas before
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BEFORE: 215 lb.
How Christi Lee Palas triumphed over a pantry full of junk food, upped her exercise, and lost 70 pounds.

Getting Out of Junk Food Paradise

Name: Christi Lee Palas
Age: 22
Height: 5'8"
Weight: 145 pounds
Pounds Lost: 70
At Current Weight: 4 years

Christi Lee Palas grew up in a junk-food paradise. "My mom kept the kitchen stocked with chips and ice cream," says the MBA student and Pittsburgh native. "If it was in the house, I ate it. So did my brother and sister, and all three of us got huge." By the age of 18, Christi weighed more than 200 pounds.

A Takeout Diet

Extra heft was an asset on Christi's high school softball team (helping her hit the ball farther), but she was always conscious of her size. "The coach only ordered one or two larger uniforms, and I was afraid I wouldn't get one, since there were several bigger girls on the team," she says. Practicing four days a week wasn't enough activity to burn off the takeout or spaghetti she'd eat afterward. Still, Christi didn't realize how heavy she was until she got weighed for her physical in February of her senior year. "Usually, I would glance away from the scale. But this time I looked and was shocked to see it read 215 pounds," she says. "I thought, What will I be in 20 years -- 300?"

Changing Her Exercise Regimen

Christi was motivated to start walking to and from school and around her neighborhood: four and a half miles a day. "By May, I could fit into size 18 jeans again, instead of just wearing sweatpants," she says. Then she reduced portion sizes and cut out soda, high-fat condiments like mayo and butter, and fast-food standbys like General Tso's chicken. When she weighed herself again in September, she discovered that she'd lost almost 40 pounds. Inspired, she hit the campus gym for 40 minutes four times a week and added weight training to her routine to drop another 30 pounds by the end of her freshman year.

Now a grad student, Christi has kept the weight off and maintained the same size for four years. In addition, she's been a mentor to brother Caleb, 21, and sister Brandi, 25 -- they've lost nearly 100 and 30 pounds, respectively. "We trade fitness tips and go on hikes together now, instead of eating junk food in front of the TV."

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ltherron1 wrote:

GREAT JOB!!!! YOU LOOK GREAT. ITS GREAT TO HEAR STORIES LIKE THESE. I FEEL OFF THE WAGON, BUT AM NOW GOING TO GET BACK ON.

3/21/2011 09:36:44 PM Report Abuse
thediamonte wrote:

Thanks for sharing your story. I have lost 20 pounds, but was feeling a little discourage. With your story I now feel motivated to continue my weight loss journey. Thank you.

5/13/2010 12:44:00 PM Report Abuse
MOGIRLNFL wrote:

After reading this story, this is so me! I feel more motivated about going to the gym and watching what I eat. I hope to lose at least 50lbs in the next 6 months. I wish I could actually have contact with some of these people in the stories, truly motivating and well, we all need it from time to time.

11/3/2009 10:57:13 AM Report Abuse

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