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6. Denise Fields Learned to Love Living Healthy

Weight before: 200 lb
Weight now: 130 lb
Age: 31
Height: 5’3″
Location: Birmingham, UK
Occupation: Attorney
Motivation: Favorite Move Bicep curls

When size 14 started to feel too tight, a 200-pound Denise promised to purge the pudge and set out to lose 70 pounds.

Step one? Denise got to work in the kitchen. She swapped her morning mocha for a clean breakfast, replaced regular restaurant fair with six smaller meals a day, and experimented with spices, marinades and healthy swaps. “Most surprising to me was that I could cook healthy foods that I actually loved more than the bad-for-me foods,” she says.

Step two? She ditched the excuses – including a busy day. “We all make time for the things that are important to us,” says Denise, who squeezed in five cardio and three strength-training sessions a week and discovered a calorie-burner she truly loved: running. “Once you find an activity that you love to do, it won’t seem like exercising as much.”

After dropping 50 pounds in less than a year, she hit a wall. Denise tightened up her diet, upped her water intake, started focusing on just two muscle groups per strength-training session and introduced Tabata, high-intensity interval training. “I just told myself that to quit or slack off at this stage is like stopping just when you see the finish line.”

Five months later, Denise hit her goal weight and dropped from 40% to 22% body fat. She celebrated by buying a new size 6 outfit and treating herself to a day at the spa.

Change It Up, Like Denise
Denise keeps her cardio exciting by switching things up every few weeks. A few tips:

    • Change up your course: Look online for new routes.
    • Change up your terrain: Don’t shy away from hills.
    • Change up your pace: Try sprint intervals on the track.
    • Change up your finish line: Sign up for a 5k or half-marathon for added training incentive.
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