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"I Found My Happy Weight"

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Courtney Althoff, 26, learned to make peace with the scale.
Always a Bridesmaid

"Between 2010 and 2012, I was a bridesmaid or a personal attendant in more than 10 weddings. I was happy for my friends, but I was lonely and didn't have the confidence to date. I found myself eating fast-food value meals almost every day for lunch. When I saw my 207-pound self in one particularly unflattering wedding photo, I knew I had to do something."

Stepping Up

"In October 2012, I enlisted the help of my fit best friend, Melissa, who taught me how to cook healthy dinners and work out the right way. Instead of having fast food for lunch, I would make myself a salad with the previous night's leftover grilled chicken. I started exercising by doing an easy 20 minutes on the elliptical trainer at the gym. After about three weeks, I switched to running."

Loving Life

"Now I'm more than 50 pounds lighter and a regular at our work-place fitness classes and a local yoga studio. I'm going to train to become a yoga-sculpt teacher this summer. Since my transformation, I've done a 10K and a half-marathon and was the running leg of a team triathlon. Because I finally feel good about myself, I now feel confident enough to date."

Make Peace with the Scale

Finding your happy weight is less about the number and more about a lifestyle that you can maintain. Here, three ways to know you've found it, from Andrea Bonior, Ph.D., a psychologist in Washington, D.C.

You've hit the month mark. You've comfortably maintained your size for four weeks or longer.

You're fitter than ever. Your body performs at its peak ability (hello, 10K PR!).

You treat yourself. You allow yourself to splurge on -- and enjoy -- dessert a few times a week without feeling guilty.

 

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