HER STORY

After a lifetime of morbid obesity, Daugherty’s eventual success came with her own plan and cherry-picked recommendations from popular diets.

Both of her parents were morbidly obese (her father died at 61 of diabetes). Daugherty had gastric bypass surgery in 2005 and lost 100 pounds. “I met my husband and life was great, but the surgery doesn’t teach you how to eat, and I gained all the weight back,” Daugherty says. They had two children, and Daugherty became immersed in their care and was loving life. She thought, “Maybe I was meant to be this big.”

In 2014 she developed problems getting up from her desk and couldn’t play with her kids as she wanted. She started eating healthily Monday through lunchtime Friday, then ate whatever she wanted over the weekend. “It allowed me to enjoy life and not feel deprived,” she said.

She learned from Medifast to eat every three hours and from Atkins to not completely eliminate carbs. “In the beginning, the weekends were binge-like,” says Daugherty. “As time went on, I started thinking, ‘Do I really need to eat this?’ or, ‘If I really want this pizza, I can wait until Saturday.’ ”

As the weight started coming off, she started exercising through the Focus T25 program (an intense 25-minute workout five days a week). “As you feel better, you want to eat better and do more,” Daugherty says. She began running and has escalated her endurance from 30 seconds to completing six 5k runs, four triathlons, one half-marathon and one Tough Mudder.

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HER DIET

Daugherty has a belVita Breakfast Biscuit or a bread slice with peanut butter at 6:30 a.m. At 9 a.m., she has coffee. Between 10 and 11 a.m., she eats a Fiber One bar, yogurt or a small serving of pretzels. Lunch can be a turkey-and-Muenster sandwich on a roll or a scooped-out bagel with egg whites and cheese or a chopped salad. Between 3 and 4 p.m., she has another 100-200 calorie snack. Dinner is any type of meat and vegetables but no carbs. Around 9 p.m., she has another low-calorie snack.

HER EXERCISE

She is training for a triathlon and half-marathon. Mondays and Fridays are rest days, and Tuesday through Thursday she runs from three to six miles daily. She does a 6-to-12 mile run Saturdays and swims a mile and bikes 15 to 30 miles on Sundays.

HER ADVICE

“Be selective and find a reasonable plan and stick with it. Put your trust in the plan. With each increase in activity, I would say, “I can’t do that!” But you can and you do. If you mess up, it’s not over. You can do better tomorrow or even at the next meal. Once you reach a goal, make a new goal. Don’t have high expectations, it’s very easy to not meet them.”

— Ann Donahue-Smukler