HER STORY The death of her husband when she was 29 launched Christine Carlucci, who had two young children, on the road to severe depression, compulsive eating and an unwillingness to go outside.
"I just stayed home with the kids and ate all day. I started to feel disgust because of all the weight I had gained," says Carlucci, who usually stayed around 135 to 140 pounds but ballooned to 238.
In addition to a grab-and-go attitude, her diet was heavy on junk food.
"I was always busy with the kids and would just grab something quick," Carlucci says of her steady diet of cookies, chips and ice cream.
Remarried in 2011, she wanted to stay healthy for her three children, now 10, 8 and 2, and started with Jenny Craig and a walk around the block. Then two blocks, then more. "I started to get more energy to do more things," remembers Carlucci. "I started to feel better about myself. Now, I don't sit home. I'm always doing something. I also take the kids for walks, so they are in a healthy frame of mind."
She has gotten such a handle on her weight and diet that she allows herself the freedom on weekends to eat things she shies away from during the week.
DIET Her usual breakfast is either an egg, a protein bar or a bowl of Special K with skim milk. Lunch is turkey or other protein wrapped in lettuce instead of bread.
"For dinner, I can eat anything, but if it doesn't fit in the palm of my hand, it's too much," Carlucci says of her new attitude toward portion size. She snacks on fruit.
EXERCISE She's in the gym three days a week for a 45-minute spin class and then 45 minutes of weight training.
ADVICE "People want me to tell them the miracle I used," Carlucci says. "There's no miracle. If I can do it, you can do it. You just have to realize that if you're cheating, you're cheating yourself."
238 Weight before November 2013
114 Weight after November 2014