Losing weight is tough. The pounds often come off slowly, making it very tempting to get frustrated and just give up.
But with hard work and perseverance, extreme weight loss is possible — and these folks are living proof.
People who each shed more than 50 pounds (one woman lost 150!) shared their stories and advice with BuzzFeed.
One woman said she hid her scale and full-length mirror to “focus more on what my body was telling me and less on a number or how it looked.” Another dieter said he was motivated by a friend who challenged him to go 30 days without dessert. Many people cut out certain foods — including soda and “all carbs that were white or could be white” — and began monitoring the sugars in processed foods. And along the way, they discovered a love for exercises like running, biking, weight training and workout videos.
While every weight loss journey is different, a desire for positive change is always at the core.
“If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you,” one woman said. “So get up, get out there, give it everything you’ve got, kick some ass — then go home, dust yourself off and give yourself a pat on the back, because you’re awesome.”
So if you’re looking to lose weight, whether it’s a little or a lot, here is some advice from those who have gone before you:
“Keep in mind that every meal and every activity you do makes a difference, for good or for bad.”
“Start out with small changes — instead of getting fries, get salads with dressings on the side. Eventually, those small changes will turn into bigger changes.”
“Don’t give up. There’s gonna be good days and there’s gonna be bad days. You’re gonna gain weight and you’re gonna lose weight. But don’t get discouraged or beat yourself up. It’s a lifestyle change, not a quick fix, so don’t deprive yourself of your favorite foods. If you keep up with it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised of what you’re capable of, and remember that it’s not a race.”