In this round-up, you’ll find 15 tales of short-term weight loss success. None of them used the same methods to reach their weight loss goals and no two people’s journeys are the same. The one thing that all these stories’ stars have in common is their dedication to changing their lives through weight loss.
Hopefully, browsing the stories of the 15 dedicated individuals on this list will leave you feeling uplifted. Keep in mind while you read that every person’s body looks different and reacts differently to changes in diet.
Sometimes, a healthy diet doesn’t result in weight loss. In some cases, healthy changes involve weight gain. In other cases, healthy changes involve a weight that stays exactly the same. Health is so much more about how you feel than it is about the number of the scale. It’s about your day-to-day experience.
Many people who lose weight due to healthy changes end up feeling more energized, happier, and more confident as a result. On the other hand, if your attempts at weight loss are making you feel tired, hungry, and detached from your friends and family, the changes you’re making might not be so healthy. Thinking of weight loss as the the be-all, end-all of health is a harmful health myth that unfortunately, many people believe.
The inspiring individuals on this list had a lot to share about the new lives their journeys unlocked. Read on to hear more about their weight loss stories.
Andrew Flinders Taylor
When we first found Andrew Flinders Taylor, he was just starting on his epic and potato-filled journey. He’d lost 22 pounds and counting, choosing to exclusively eat potatoes for an entire year of his life. His concept was simple: Curb the food addiction by eating only one food. He cooked the food in a myriad of ways, mashed and beyond — but kept the add-ins to a minimum. He only lightly seasoned his potatoes with spices and low-calorie sauce. Now, Taylor has lost 120 pounds and coaches people around the world on how to transform the way they view health.
Some people hike nature’s trails to find themselves. Andy Davidhazy lost himself — 50 pounds of himself, to be exact. He took a selfie as he crossed each mile marker until he’d hiked all 2,663 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. Read more about his inspiring journey here.
“I was always the bigger girl out of the bunch. I gained weight in middle school, and that was so hard. The bullying, the names I was called, pushed, shoved, slapped, you name it, it happened,” Fumagalli told The Daily Meal. “When I was 22 I had my first child. That’s when the weight really piled on. My daughter was then born in 2012 and I knew I needed to change because I wanted to make sure she never had to endure any of the pain I went through because of my weight.”
Fumagalli had two more children before she took the leap. “I completely overhauled my lifestyle,” she said. “Now, a single mother of three, I show my kids what a healthy lifestyle is. We eat healthy, we exercise, and we are active.”
In her body, Fumagalli feels more comfortable than ever. “I love myself now. I respect myself now. I work out 5 to 6 days a week. I never thought fitness and health would be my lifestyle,” she admitted, “but I love it and would never ever take what I was given for granted.”
You can learn more about Ashley Fumagalli’s story on her Instagram.
This stay-at-home mom took her passion for home cooking to the next level. “I was an emotional eater, a bored eater, a TV eater, a binge eater; food controlled me,” she said. “By the time I met my husband in my 20s I was over 200 lbs.” With the help of her Instant Pot, Williams shed over 100 pounds on her diet. Read more about how she did it here.
Left: 2017 Bravo Media, LLC;Right: 2017 NBCUniversal Media, LLC
This famous actor’s story proves you don’t have to do anything crazy to make a change. Quitting alcohol jump-started a 50-pound weight loss journey that left him feeling great. Robinson also went vegan, joining other celebrities in the vegan trend. Read more about his transformation here.
“Upon becoming a father, I realized that I didn’t want to be the lazy, complacent guy I had been,” Odem told The Daily Meal. “I wanted to be the best me that I could be, and so I decided to make a change.” Odem began working out and eating more nutritious foods than he had been. Through hard work and dedication, he transformed his relationship with his body.
“It was the best and healthiest decision of my life,” he concluded. “I haven’t looked back since.” You can follow Jay Odem’s story on his Instagram.
At the age of 44, Jeff Reitz still believes in the magic of Disney. In fact, he’s so Disney-obsessed that he’s attended the theme park almost every day since 2012. Despite the ridiculously unhealthy foods you can find there, Reitz managed to actually lose weight using his expertise. Read more here about how he lost the weight while having the time of his life.
When we found Pasquale Cozzolino, he was well on his way to his healthiest body — eating pizza for lunch every single day. No, we are not joking. The man cut out sweets and soda, but kept his pizza habit as strong as ever. Now, Cozzolino is the proud author of The Pizza Diet, a book that tells the story of how he lost more than 100 pounds in seven months eating a Margherita a day. It’s all about balance, people. Am I right?
Robert and Jessica Foster
In 2011, Robert Foster weighed 327 pounds, and his wife Jessica weighed 287 pounds. Both Rob and Jessica lost well over 100 pounds each by focusing on adding good things into their diet rather than taking things away and by working out together. You can read more about their collective journey here, along with a few of their tips for people just getting started.
As of two years ago, Robert Foster weighed 170 pounds. He organized a group of undergraduate students at his alma mater, University of Colorado Boulder, to invent a bicycle for obese persons looking to exercise in a way they enjoy.
Serina R., mother of a now-16-year-old girl, wanted to feel great in her body. “What I wanted for myself then at 248 pounds: to be skinny, for people to think I’m pretty, to be small, to be envied, to have a perfect body,” Serina said in a recent Instagram caption. “What I want for myself now in the 170’s: health, wellness, balance, peace with my body, a healthy relationship with food, self-love and appreciation.”
Serina’s journey to wellness has not been easy, but after all the ups and downs that come with learning a healthy relationship with food, she has found her best version of health and happiness. Follow her story on Instagram here.
Obese, unhappy, and in constant pain, 380-pound Shiryl Davis decided to make a change. She was bingeing on junk food, eating frosting from the can, and suffering from debilitating Crohn’s disease. Sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, this inspiring woman put her lifestyle through a complete overhaul — she quit the food habits that made her feel sick and moved in ways that made her body feel renewed. Read our detailed expose of her inspiring story here.
Rochelle Hill is now a fashion consultant and coach living the life she’d imagined — but she wasn’t always so at home in her body.
“I’ve struggled with weight most of my life,” she told The Daily Meal. “My highest weight was 387 pounds. Life simply became a chore.” After suffering from sleep apnea and barely being able to walk, Rochelle knew something had to change. She never looked back.
“I’m now living my dreams, pursing my passions and motivating thousands. My words of advice are: No matter how you get it done, do it! Stay consistent and put in the work. The results will yield!” You can follow Rochelle’s Instagram, which now has over 45,000 followers, and read the rest of her story here.
“By the time I had hit 12 years old, I remember looking at the scale in my doctor’s office and it read, ‘306 pounds,’” Summer recalls in an Instagram post. “It took almost a decade from that day to change, to save my life.” Summer’s weight loss was no quick fix. She’s been on a slow and steady journey for years, advocating for the fact that you don’t need surgery or a fad diet to live healthfully and make a change. “Your future self will thank you later!” she says. Read Summer’s story on her Instagram.
A year ago, Tasha was struggling with her health. She was constantly stressed out and living an unhealthy lifestyle — at one point, her hair was falling out. Frustrated with her weight, she decided to take action. Now, a year later, Tasha has lost over 100 pounds and feels more confident than ever.
“Last night I put on a suede bodycon dress without spanx or anything,” she bragged in a recent Instagram post. “I am so glad I didn’t put off getting healthy any longer than I did.”
To follow along with her journey and follow her inspirational account, click here.
Making a healthful change doesn’t have to involve an extensive weight loss journey — you can start small with one of these small diet changes that make a big difference.