Who: Renee Sacharny, 34
Occupation: Holistic network chiropractor
Height: 5'2 1/2"
Weight before: 260 (January 1997)
Weight after: 130 (January 2010)
Her story: Overweight her entire life, at age 10 Renee Sacharny weighed 175 pounds and eventually crept up to 260 pounds. She remembers how a "friend" once called her a "house with feet." She lived most of her life on the weight-loss roller coaster - losing and regaining. It was in a dressing room trying on a size 26 dress at age 21 that she decided she couldn't go on that way.
After trying Atkins and other diets, she went to a nutritionist. She lost about 35 pounds in about five months on a South Beach-influenced diet.
"I had a ways to go," Sacharny said. "My senior year in college I was planning to attend medical school. I got in a car accident and went to a chiropractor." After that, she decided to go to chiropractic school. As she went through the training, she learned more about holistic chiropractic methods and living a holistic life.
Her diet: Plenty of fruits and vegetables. She enjoys a vegetarian diet, but occasionally eats fish, chicken and turkey. "I'm very into eating whole foods that have had minimal processing," says Sacharny. She adheres to food combining principals, which discourage a heavy starch with a heavy protein. If she's indulging in a meat, she'd likely pair it with a colorful medley of vegetables. . She is totally into dessert. "A life of deprivation means you'll eventually binge anyway," says Sacharny. "... You need to find new coping skills."
Her exercise: She goes to the gym and gets on the treadmill and lifts weights at least twice a week. She also does an hour of yoga at least twice a month. When she was heavy she says her working out was more structured. Now, she believes in making exercise effortless. "If you struggle too much to go, your body will react to the stress by gaining more," Sacharny says. She listens to her body and gives it whatever exercise it craves. "Sometimes I feel I need to stretch and will do yoga or stretching exercise for two or three days in a row." Other days she goes out dancing with friends. In short, she's moving to her own beat.