WEIGHT LOSS SUCCESS
Before: 215 lbs
After: 150 lbs
When Andrea Vandiver graduated from Maryland's Salisbury University in 2004, she was a healthy size 8. But then a job as a sales rep kept her on the road, which meant most of her meals came from drive-throughs. "I ate out constantly and munched on whatever was served at business meetings," says Andrea, now 29. By the winter of 2006, at 5'4" and 215 pounds, she was miserable with her weight—and her career.
A few months later, Andrea quit her sales job and enrolled at Towson University in Baltimore to pursue a teaching degree. Moving gave her the perfect opportunity for a fresh start. "My weight was out of control," she says. "This was the excuse I needed to get back on track."
Cutting carbs jump-started Andrea's weight loss. "I literally dreamed about cake, but after a few weeks I stopped having cravings," she says. She lost 12 pounds in a month, then slowly added whole grains back into her nutrition plan. She also began eating breakfast daily (something she'd never done before). Too self-conscious to join a gym, Andrea used fitness DVDs and weights at home, and in March 2007, she signed up for a program that trains beginners to run a 5-K. When she completed the race that October, she was 65 pounds lighter and "incredibly happy."
Andrea now has the energy to keep up with the third-graders she teaches…and enough left over to train for a half marathon. She also enjoys how having a trimmer figure means she can now swap outfits with her friends. "I'm fitting into clothes I wore in college!" she says.
Run early. "I wake up at 5 a.m. to get exercise in. If you don't make it a priority, it won't happen."
Don't stress about the scale. "I try on an old pair of jeans once in a while. If they fit, I'm doing OK!"
Bring your pregame. "I'll have a healthy snack like peanut butter and jelly on whole-wheat bread before going to happy hour so that I won't overdo