HER STORY It took Sarah Bellissimo six years to lose track of her eating and her weight, but only one impending wedding to push her into making some changes. After researching a number of weight-loss programs, she settled on Weight Watchers because it seemed easier to stick to than others.
"I had tried dieting before, but I always found a reason to cheat, and once you cheat, you find yourself justifying every bad food decision that follows," says Bellissimo, who has lost more than 70 pounds. "So you promise yourself that tomorrow you'll get back on track, but then that doesn't happen, so why not order the giant plate of French fries at dinner? It was a terrible cycle, and I knew that if I didn't make some serious changes, it would only get worse."
So, she made a New Year's resolution to start a diet.
"I always used to think it was silly when Jennifer Hudson would say she had to learn how to eat," Bellissimo remembers. "Who doesn't know how to eat? It was the most ridiculous thing I'd ever heard."
Of course, that's exactly what Bellissimo had to do.
"The things you got away with when you were 18, you can't get away with at 31 or 32," Bellissimo says. "I had to learn portion control."
Bellissimo remembers the old days of eating macaroni and cheese -- her favorite food -- until she couldn't eat anymore.
"I don't think I ever paid any attention to portion control," says Bellissimo, who now strictly adheres to Weight Watchers-recommended portion sizes.
DIET Breakfast every day is four hard-boiled egg whites, freshly made vegetable juice and a piece of fruit. She usually lunches on leftovers from the night before.
"I make a lot of recipes from skinnytaste.com," Bellissimo says. "Like today, my lunch is skinny chicken taco chili, which is shredded chicken, beans, corn, onions and a bunch of different spices."
EXERCISE Never big on exercise, Bellissimo started by just walking the mile to and from the train station daily. She now runs 3½ miles a day when the weather permits, as well as walking to the train station each day.
ADVICE "I had to learn to eat all over again," Bellissimo says. "I also learned that I could enjoy exercise."
32, Glen Cove
Occupation Office manager in public relations
210 Weight before January 2013
133 Weight after Feb. 1, 2014