Who: Donna Walczuk, 42
Occupation: Project manager
Weight before: 194 (Dec. 2007)
Weight after: 158 (Jan. 2009)
Her Story: When she moved out of her parents' house three years ago, Donna Walczuk started gaining weight. "I ate at night, I ate cookies, I ate cake, I ate doughnuts. I ate everything," she said.
By the fall of 2007, she had started buying size 14 clothes instead of size 10, but it wasn't until she put on her pants one day and noticed a "muffin top" that she knew it was time for change. "I absolutely freaked out," she said. "I couldn't believe I had gained that much weight."
What she eats: Walczuk attended her first Weight Watchers meeting on Jan. 8, 2008. She started with 24 points a day.
Breakfast is now a piece of fruit and light yogurt, plus coffee with whole milk but no sugar, which she gave up. Lunch is often a vegetable-heavy salad with feta cheese and fat-free balsamic dressing. Dinner always begins with another big salad plus a protein, like roasted chicken or broiled fish. In between meals, she snacks on pretzels, Wheat Thins or small portions of her favorite pre-diet snacks, such as half a candy bar. "It's all portion control," she said. "I deprive myself of absolutely nothing if I stay in my point range."
Workouts: Walczuk has never been a fan of the gym, so she added some additional walking to her routine. She mapped out a 1.5-mile route around her neighborhood in her car and now walks multiple times a week. When it's cold outside, she drives to a nearby mall and walks a similar distance indoors.
Her Advice: "Please do not be discouraged," she said. "I will absolutely not turn back. I lost it and don't want to regain it."