Who: Richard Filiberto, 58
Weight before: 267 (2009)
Weight after: 175 (2010)
His story: Although Filiberto had taken up running 10 years ago, he found it bothered his knees, and he soon fell back into bad habits and weight gain. A little more than a year ago, he signed up for ballroom dancing lessons to prepare for a family wedding. "I found that I love to dance," he says, and he hoped that by dropping some weight, he'd improve his dancing. He realizes now that when he was young, he should have followed the example of his father, an award-winning amateur dancer on roller skates.
His diet: Filiberto cut out cheeseburgers, French fries, snacks and candy as he started to exercise, and the pounds began dropping away. "I wasn't really hungry," he says. But he found that more exercise increased his appetite. "If I eat breakfast, it's a bagel," he says. "A typical lunch is an egg white and broccoli omelet, home fries and rye toast. Dinner will be pasta. I actually have to eat a lot of carbs now."
Exercise: Filiberto hits the gym at 5 a.m. five days a week, where he spends several hours on the elliptical machine, treadmill and doing weight training. He dusted off his old bike and joined a riding club. In addition to dancing about 10 hours a week in private and group lessons, he also dances at organized socials.
Advice: Accept that you are making a lifestyle change, Filiberto says. "The exercise and portion control change from a choice to necessity to being a part of everyday life." He used to note the number of calories he consumed and burned off daily by entering them into his phone. "But now I pay attention just generally," he says. And another piece of advice: "Dance! You don't realize you're exercising," he says. "And it's fun."