Packing lunches for work was key.
Fried fare and sugary drinks fueled Amanda Moore as a child, but those habits were amplified when something truly toxic entered her life at age 11: A relative began sexually abusing her, a nightmare that lasted eight years and drove her to use food for comfort. By the time Amanda gave birth to a son, at 19, she weighed 220 pounds. "I was on my own, and food was my friend," she says.
She hit 270 by age 21, when she met her husband, then topped out at 320 after the birth of a daughter. Her turning point came when she denied her kids a trip to an amusement park at Christmas because she was afraid she wouldn't fit into the rides. "I made it my New Year's resolution to lose weight for good."
In January of 2013, Amanda began exercising twice a week: one day using The Biggest Loser cardio/strength-training DVD (she started with half a workout) and the other walking for a half-mile.
Eight months into her journey, Amanda hit 270 pounds and decided to quit smoking, which energized her. At that point, she made it her goal to work out up to five days a week. One year after setting out to lose weight, she began walking five miles once a week and doing DVD workouts for the other four days.
In December 2015, Amanda upped her walking to running a few days a week, continued her DVD workouts, and her weight dipped under 200 for the first time since she was 14. By March 2016, she completed a 5-K race. (The Slim, Sexy, Strong Workout DVD is the fast, flexible workout you've been waiting for!)
After first deciding to lose weight, Amanda began packing lunches for work and cooked lighter versions of her favorite dinners, like tacos with turkey instead of beef. As she progressed, she began cooking more "clean" meals for herself.
STICKING WITH IT
About a year and a half after setting out to lose weight, Amanda reached 250 pounds and could finally go on amusement park rides with her kids. As she kept making steady progress, she hit 220 pounds by February 2015 and shed four dress sizes to a 16.
Unfortunately, after separating from her husband, Amanda moved in with her mother and gained roughly 30 pounds during the adjustment, bringing her back to 250 pounds. But by the fall, she recommitted to her exercise and diet routine and started going after her goals again.
Today, at 160 pounds, the 30-year-old is training for a half-marathon (scheduled for this month!) and got promoted at her retail job. "I think my confidence translated to my career too."