HER STORY

Bridgette Volpi was a foster child who grew up in two different households, both very food-centric. She was adopted by her second family when she was 13, which was around the time she gained roughly 15 pounds. Volpi would hold onto that extra weight into adulthood. But it was two events later on that caused her most significant weight gain — a pregnancy and quitting smoking, the latter pushing her weight over 200 pounds.

“My father from my second family was very overweight and very sick the last years of his life with ailments that were all exacerbated by his weight. I watched him, thinking, ‘I don’t want to live that way or die that way,’” says Volpi. It was 2011, and she started exercising every other day no matter how busy her schedule was with school activities or other events.

“Even after sitting in rush-hour traffic for an hour and then making dinner, I headed out to the gym.” As part of her new commitment, she researched many ways to lose weight, like Paleo, Weight Watchers and Ketogenic, and she ended up taking parts from each of them. She eats mostly protein, vegetables and fruit, and then eats healthy carbs (like sweet potatoes).

She lost weight as well as clothes sizes. “I used to buy whatever clothes I could fit into. Now everything fits, so it’s a matter of deciding what I like the most,” says Volpi. She has maintained this new lifestyle for five years. “When I look in the mirror, I’m amazed how much thinner my face is and how totally different I look. My blood work comes back as good as any teenager. I have so much energy, I feel great,” says Volpi.

A fall recently resulted in a broken ankle. She’ll be sporting a boot for a few weeks.

HER DIET

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Volpi eats something hourly. To start, she has 6 egg whites and one egg yolk, either scrambled or hard-boiled, and black coffee for breakfast. She snacks on pecans that she roasts with cinnamon and vanilla. Lunch can be sautéed ground turkey breast or chicken with turmeric, black pepper and diced tomato. Throughout the day she grazes on broccoli, Brussels sprouts, oranges and grapes — all raw and always at her fingertips. Dinner, the lightest of her three main meals, can be strawberries and peanut butter or a tomato and cucumber salad.

HER EXERCISE

Volpi goes to the gym Monday through Friday and spends 30 minutes doing cardio on an elliptical and 30 minutes of strength training with weights.

HER ADVICE

“Don’t quit. Keep going, keep moving. Every day is a new beginning.”