Talk Yourself Thin
40. Carry a pen: "I was tired of compliments that stopped at my face," says Juanita Dillard, a 37-year-old makeup artist who weighed 274 pounds. "I was constantly surrounded by thin, gorgeous models and I wanted to be like them."
Juanita started writing about her stress instead of feeding it. Within a year and a half, she dropped from a size 24 to a size 6. One time, halfway through a binge brought on by the stress of losing her pet, Juanita reached into her purse and felt her journal. Out it came, and she started writing. After putting her feelings down on paper, her desire to eat was gone. "Journaling has become my no-cal stress buster," she says.
41. Work with your personality, not against it: Regina Owen used her addictive personality to turn from sleeping pills and food to exercise. She walks every morning and hits the gym every night. "Yes, I'm obsessive. But at least the whole exercise thing is a healthy obsession for me. That hasn't always been so," she says. Her devotion to working out enabled her to lose 65 pounds, going from a size 22 to a 10.
42. Think thin: After years of dieting, Leigh Anne Congdon finally took off—and kept off—30 pounds. And she did it by learning to think like a thin person. "I had noticed that my friends who were thin didn't constantly dwell on what they were eating. They ate when they were hungry and said, 'no, thanks,' when they weren't. I followed their example and tried to stop obsessing about food."
43. Get the support you need: At age 29, Olivia Williamson's doctor told her she had high blood pressure and would be on meds the rest of her life unless she did something about it. While she'd tried diet and exercise plans in the past, she'd never been able to stick with them. So she signed up for a six-week weight management course, followed by weekly support group meetings for four months. "Just being able to tell the group, 'I'm doing it, I'm sticking with it' made me feel better," she says. The proof: Within one year, she's lost 45 pounds and her blood pressure has returned to normal.