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Joan DeSimone: 'The local doughnut guy thought I had a thing for him'

Joan DeSimone, a 61-year-old day car center owner

Joan DeSimone, a 61-year-old day car center owner from Center Moriches lost 114 pounds. To lose weight, "you need constant encouragement," she said. Photo Credit: Newsday.com composite

Who: Joan DeSimone, 61
Town: Center Moriches
Occupation: Day car center owner

Height: 5'5"
Weight lost: 114 pounds since Jan. 2007

Her story: Before dropping 114 pounds, Joan DeSimone was an addict - a food addict.

"The local doughnut guy thought I had a thing for him. Little did he know, it was all about the doughnuts," DeSimone said. A grandmother, she often stayed home for up to five days straight and refused party invitations.

DeSimone joined and left Weight Watchers for nearly a decade with no results. But two years ago, she decided to rejoin.

This time, DeSimone told her friends and family of her diet instead of keeping it secret. "I would not tell anyone 'cause I thought I was going to fail," she said. But "you need constant encouragement."

What she eats: For breakfast, DeSimone has oatmeal and half a banana. Lunch is typically turkey or tuna salad on whole-wheat bread. Night is the most challenging time of the day, because she gets strong cravings to start munching even when she is not hungry. So after a dinner of protein and vegetables, DeSimone will let herself have low-calorie snacks such as low-salt popcorn.

Workouts: DeSimone likes simple workouts that don't require a gym. She walks or rides her bike every day.

Advice: Include friends and family in your weight loss effort because they will be there to applaud your small successes.

After losing 80 pounds, DeSimone's grandson gave her a hug. "He stepped back and said, 'Either you're slimming down, or my arms got longer.'"

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