HER STORY "I was always overweight, and it spiraled out of control from age 19 to 20," Barbara Prestano Henry says. "Being in a bakery, we work long hours. I'd never eat breakfast or lunch and then overeat at dinner."
She grew up in the family bakery, tasting and testing everything.
"I just needed to test one cookie but would eat four," says Prestano Henry. "I could eat a whole loaf of Italian bread by myself."
From March to May 2010, when she and her husband, Michael Henry, opened the bakery in Rocky Point, she gained 30 pounds. The week before Mother's Day, she developed strep throat and had to go to a doctor and was fearing getting on the scale.
"My doctor told me I was on the borderline of becoming a diabetic," Prestano Henry says. "She said I was also at high risk of having a heart attack. I was 28 years old, and it freaked me out."
She put herself on a strict high-protein diet and cut out all carbs.
"I started walking around the neighborhood every evening," says Prestano Henry, who lost 30 pounds in three months. She cut out pizza, hamburgers and fried food. "I also took up kickboxing and owe a lot to that. I was walking, added the elliptical and then kickboxing. You have to incorporate exercise into your life, even if you only take a 30-minute walk."
DIET Breakfast is egg whites with fresh vegetables or oatmeal. Lunch is grilled chicken or other lean protein with a salad. Dinner is lean protein with salad and vegetables.
EXERCISE "Before, I absolutely did nothing," Prestano Henry says. Now, she exercises at least an hour three days a week and then two hours, two days a week. This includes walking, the elliptical machine, kickboxing, Zumba and lifting weights.
ADVICE "You have to keep everything in moderation," says Prestano Henry, who taught herself about nutrition.
"I have learned to never give up on myself," Prestano Henry says, "push a little harder, to always give 100 percent, because my life and my body are worth the extra effort."
BEFORE: 265 pounds, May 2010
AFTER: 150 pounds, April 10, 2013