Dropping Lbs.: Cindy Miller, Farmingdale
Occupation: Stay-at-home mom, volunteer and certified personal trainer
Weight: 304 before January 2008, 137 May 2012
HER STORY In hindsight, Cindy Miller realizes she was a closet binge eater.
"If I was bored, if I was upset, I'd eat," says Miller, who is married with a daughter, 11, and a son, 7. "And, it wasn't always the good stuff."
Miller says being short on money in the beginning of her marriage was the start of her road to obesity. "When we first got married, we ate a lot of pasta and fast food because they were cheap," Miller says. "Also, my husband didn't have a weight problem, so we'd eat all kinds of things at ungodly hours."
As the weight piled on, she began to have trouble keeping up with her active children, neither of whom has a weight problem. She eventually had knee trouble, finding it difficult to go up and down stairs. "I couldn't keep up with them," Miller says.
After years of yo-yo dieting, she turned to Jenny Craig, dropping 90 pounds in the first 16 months. "I feel great," says Miller, who now runs 10ks and is training with her daughter for a 5k.
"The weight loss has impacted every part of my life, especially my appearance and confidence," says Miller, who now is a certified personal trainer.
DIET At her goal weight, she no longer eats Jenny Craig meals. Miller's focus is on portion control and using healthy cooking techniques, such as steaming and grilling. "I try to stick to lean meats, fish and raw or frozen vegetables," Miller says. "It has become second nature for me to eat healthy."
EXERCISE She takes a spin class three or four times a week. She rotates upper- and lower-body workouts each day. "I also walk and take bike rides with my family," Miller says. She finds a way to exercise every day, even if she can't go to the gym. "If you're home with the kids, get up and dance."
ADVICE "It is all about calories in, calories out," says Miller, who believes anyone can lose weight with the right tools and determination. "Unfortunately, there is no magic pill." And, don't even try to tell her you don't have time to exercise. "You don't have to do a straight 30-minute workout," says Miller, who does squats while washing the dishes. "You could do three sessions of 10 minutes each."