“I lost 26 pounds!”

Weight loss tips from a 44-year-old mother of three

Source: Web exclusive: March 2008

Susan Cheyne, 44, could eat anything and never gain a pound when she was growing up. ‘Thin was always easy for me,’ says the IT Program Manager from Newmarket, Ont. But the pounds began creeping up after having three children and holding down a hectic, full-time job. 185 pounds at 40, Cheyne wanted to get healthy. She tried Weight Watchers and joined a circuit gym, but only managed to lose and regain the same 15 pounds several times over three years. She needed lasting results, and fast.

The breaking point

About a year and a half ago, her gym, Contours Express, took a ‘before’ picture of her. Cheyne saw her true size for the first time. ‘I thought: Oh. My. God. Some people, when they look in the mirror, they see themselves heavier. When I look in the mirror, I see myself thinner.’

The challenge

To reach’and stay at’her goal weight of 150 pounds. (She’s 5’4′).

The plan

Harder workouts, six times a week (up from three a week in the past), and a balanced diet. Cheyne’s gym trainer suggested incorporating exercises such as lunges between machines at her circuit gym, for instance. An online program, www.truestarhealth.com, taught her to balance carbs, fat and protein at every meal. (She doesn’t take the supplements offered by the program, however, preferring to rely only on the healthy recipes and meal plan suggestions.)

The biggest obstacle

Cravings. ‘Chips are my downfall,’ says Cheyne with a laugh.

The results

Cheyne lost 20 pounds within the first two months. Since then, she has shed another 6 pounds and a total of 40 inches. People she hadn’t seen in a while would say, ‘Wow, you look amazing!’

The road ahead

Focusing on inches lost versus pounds is still difficult for Cheyne. ‘I have to remind myself that the actual weight isn’t as important. I’ve lost 40 inches!’

The tips

  • Take orders. Cheyne loves the non-judgmental, encouraging yet regimented atmosphere of her women-only circuit gym. ‘I like that I don’t have to think about my workout,’ she says. ‘I’m like a soldier here: They tell me what to do and I do it.’ The lesson? Find a diet and exercise regimen that works for your personality type.
  • Be boring. Cheyne eats the same thing every day for breakfast (grapes, cottage cheese and nuts), because she knows temptation may steer her away from a balanced meal otherwise. If she’s not disciplined, she diets haphazardly.
  • Tell the world. ‘The whole family, my husband, my work, even my neighbours’they all know when I work out.’ As a result, nothing interferes with her fitness, even on Saturdays.

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