Packing On the Pounds
After being diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome in college, Annie Eeds, 31, packed on 60 pounds. The gain was due not only to the endocrine disorder but also to heaping portions of processed foods (a huge bag of buttery popcorn was a favorite snack) and a sedentary lifestyle. "One trip to the gym every two months felt like plenty," Annie remembers.
Annie's wake-up call came at a Halloween party in 2011. While she munched on cookies, she chatted with two coworkers. When one of them said, "I can't imagine weighing 200 pounds without being pregnant," the comment stayed with her. She stepped on the scale when she got home and was shocked that it said 220.
The next day, Annie instituted a new habit: a daily two-mile walk around her neighborhood. She also began going to the gym four times a week. "My 'before' pictures motivated me when I wanted to quit," she says. Diet changes included starting each day with a fruit and coconut-milk smoothie and cooking with fresh food instead of buying frozen meals.
By January, Annie was discouraged that she'd lost only five pounds. "A friend suggested that I try a ballet-inspired class at a Barre3 studio," she says. "I was scared I'd pop the ball we put under our backs during core work." But she kept going, and the pounds melted away. "I discovered muscles I didn't know existed," says Annie, who now attends four classes a week.
In June 2013, Annie reached her happy weight of 147 pounds. "I never feel more confident than when I'm rocking my size-8 jeans," she says. Except for when she starred in a Barre3 workout video last December. "I'm so proud of how far I've come," Annie says.
What Worked for Me
Music must: "'Buttons' by the Pussycat Dolls always gets me moving and grooving."
My mantra: "Be your own hero."
Top toner: "Nothing is better for strengthening my core than the plank."
Meal motivation: "When I need recipe ideas, I turn to food blogs. My top three are Annie's Eats, Dishing Up the Dirt, and The Spunky Coconut."