Who: Donna Norkaitis-Gerrity
Town: East Patchogue
Occupation: Dietitian

Height: 5'6"
Weight before: 240 (Jan. 1991)
Weight after: 150 (June 2009)

Her story: At age 28, Donna Norkaitis-Gerrity decided it was time to make a change. Her epiphany came after she saw a photograph of herself and was "appalled.''

"I started to realize that I could eat better." she said. "I lost a few pounds just by doing that, and then I realized that I could definitely control my weight if I worked really hard at it."

Norkaitis-Gerrity's drive toward self-improvement didn't stop with weight loss: She decided to go back to school for nutrition. In 1998, Norkaitis-Gerrity graduated as a registered dietitian and had earned her master's degree in clinical nutrition.

Her diet: "I am very regimented in what I do," Norkaitis-Gerrity said. She has water and high-fiber cereal or egg whites for breakfast and a plain nonfat yogurt with fruit for lunch. Norkaitis-Gerrity snacks on plain popcorn throughout the day and typically eats "mounds of vegetables and lean protein" for dinner.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Her workouts: Norkaitis-Gerrity works out daily, managing to squeeze in 60 minutes of cardio each day and weight training three times a week. She participates in two spin classes a week.

Final thoughts: "Quick weight loss might just be temporary, so it doesn't matter how long it takes you to get to goal ... just never give up and keep at it."