Courage is contagious, and when someone triumphs over body and mind to transform themselves, it inspires all those around them. Of the many extreme weight loss transformations, the editors of SHAPE Army share the top 3 most incredible, inspiring body and life transformations.
Extreme Weight Loss Transformations: Wendy Mills
Wendy Mills. At 46 years old, Wendy knew that 50 was not far away, and so she set a goal to be the healthiest and fittest she had ever been by the time she reached her 50th birthday. She started her quest weighing 225 pounds and was 5’5”. Her day job is as a Chartered Accountant in Aurora, Ontario, Canada. Her weight loss goal starting out was to lose about 100 pounds. Knowing that such an extreme weight loss goal would take some time, she started slowly, setting small goals. And it was working great. By giving up a few of processed and junk/fast foods and walking more she lost 55 pounds. More than halfway there, but then she got stuck at 170 pounds.
Overcoming the Plateaus that Threaten Weight Loss Goals
It seems that every success story involving extreme weight loss includes the discouraging set back of fitness plateaus. These plateaus occur when your body stops responding to your diet and exercise efforts. But if Wendy Mills can teach us anything, it is to not give up, rather switch it up.
You’ve adjusted to the changes you have made, so in some ways overcoming a fitness plateau is like starting a new plan with new rules and new changes. But Wendy did not give up or in. She was scared – yes, but she decided to sign up with a personal trainer and add weight training to her fitness routine. Over the following months, her goals shifted and started to become more fitness and strength related than about just losing the weight.
Investing in a Home Gym
She made the investment in some equipment for her home, weights, medicine balls, a bench, and resistance bands. Most of those are relatively inexpensive so you could probably duplicate the equipment she chose for your home without it busting your budget. Just buy one or two items with each paycheck for a few months and you’ll have a good selection. Having the equipment in her home meant she could do easy reps at home and increase the good results. By age 48 she had reached her extreme weight loss goal weighing 124 – 101 pounds less than where she began. She is now setting her sights to remain just as fit at 60 and beyond. Her motivation is still strong.
3 Tips for Extreme Weight Loss Success
Wendy suggests three ways to help you stay the course.
- Find someone who will hold you accountable, maybe a workout partner.
- Keep a record of your choices and progress along the way.
- Set monthly goals and resist the urge to weight or measure yourself more than once or twice a month.
Extreme Weight Loss Transformations: Denise Fields
Denise Fields. Denise is 31 and 5’3”. She is an Attorney and lives in Kansas City Missouri. She started at 200 pounds, and her size 14 clothes were getting too tight for her to comfortably wear them anymore. Shrinking wardrobe can be a great motivator sometimes. She set a goal to lose 70 pounds and in the process “purge the pudge.”
Changing Your Diet for Extreme Weight Loss
The first thing she did was look at her diet deciding what to change and how to make her eating selections healthier. Before the purge, she would have mocha for breakfast thinking that was a clean choice. That ended, as well as most of her meals coming from restaurants of one kind or another. Instead, she started eating six small meals a day and bought spices and marinades to try as she began to do most of her cooking and meal prep from home. Turns out she loved the healthy foods she made much more than the restaurant options she had been eating.
Get Moving: Discovering the Right Workout for Your Weight Loss Goals
Next, she mastered the ability to eliminate excuses from her life. Which for Denise, meant any excuse for not getting movement into her days. Even when she had a crazy busy schedule, she made sure she was getting three strength-training and five cardio sessions every week. She experimented with different workouts until she found one she absolutely loved, running. Once she found that, exercise became so much easier because it is now fun and not work. She dropped 50 of the 70 pounds she wanted to lose in less than a year and then the plateau hit.
Related Article: Learn How to Start Running with a 5K training Plan. > >
The Best Diet and Exercise Programs for Extreme Weight Loss
She went on the offensive by getting tighter with her eating, measuring more precisely, and cutting back on foods that might cause problems. She also began drinking more water daily, and in her strength training sessions, she focused on just two muscle groups per session. Then she added Tabata to her training – it is a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workout. She knew stopping at that point meant failure in reaching her 70-pound weight loss goal, so she pushed forward. And in another five months she hit that goal. She went from 40% body fat to 22% and is now enjoying her size 6 outfits.
Tips on How to Lose Weight and Transform Your Life
Denise offers some advice on how to overcome exercise plateaus for those who have similar extreme weight loss goals.
- Change up the type of cardio workout you do about every four weeks. One effective way to overcome exercise plateaus is to switch up your routine with high intensity interval training.
- If you are running or walking as a big part of your exercise routine, look for a variety of courses you can follow, different terrains, and also change the pace.
- Every once in a while, sprint for a part of your route.
- And finally, change the distances. That will keep the experience fresh and challenging.
Extreme Weight Loss Transformation Jenna Dunham
Jenna Dunham. At 36 and 5’4, Jenna weighed 203 pounds. She is a stay-at-home mom living in Florence, Kentucky. One of her favorite songs to do a cardio workout to is “Copacabana” by Barry Manilow. After giving birth the third time, Jenny was feeling frumpy and discouraged. But when she decided to change that, what she spurred herself on with was telling herself, “I can do anything for one minute.” She started on a treadmill, then added some weight training, and then upped her game to sprints and advanced strength-training.
Want a Flat Stomach and Ripped Six Pack Abs like Jenna’s after her extreme weight loss transformation? Check out these great ab workouts from SHAPE Army.
It’s About Health and Fitness, Not Extreme Weight Loss
For Jenna it wasn’t just about extreme weight loss, it was about becoming fit. Her goal was to transform her body and life by adopting a Healthy Living Lifestyle. Her extreme weight loss was just a result of her ultimate goal towards fitness. Within six months, she was down 70 pounds and had moved from 31% body fat to 17%. She stuck to a clean diet and added Pilates, and she also found a soul-mate workout with circuit training. She keeps the largest pair of pants she ever owned (XL maternity ones) to help her remember how much she has accomplished. She’s a happier mom now and knows she has the tools and understanding to give a fit and healthy lifestyle gift to her three children as well.
Losing Weight After Pregnancy
Jenna bounced back from three pregnancies, and she did it like a champ. But behind the scenes it was a lot of hard work and consistency. Losing weight after pregnancy can be very difficult, but Jenna has some advice for anyone with a small or extreme weight loss goal:
- She suggests you lean on your strong network of supportive friends and family for those times when you are feeling weak or vulnerable.
- Change things up by trying new fitness classes and routines so you don’t get bored.
- Keep a journal with your goals for each day, week, and month, as well as what you are doing. Writing everything down helps many people stay accountable to their goals.
Share Your Success Story
If you’ve had a great transformation in your health and fitness using diet and exercise as primary tools to do so, we would love to hear about it. It doesn’t matter if your transformation is not an extreme weight loss. Even an inch, even a pound, even a simple change in mindset, is a victory worth celebrating on your journey to a healthier life. Tell us your success story in the comment section below. Where did you start, what was your goal, what made the change imperative when you started, and what are some of the tips that worked best for you?
For more extreme weight loss transformations check out 10-most-inspiring-success-stories.