- Name: Melissa
- Age: 33
- City: Toms River, NJ
- Start weight: 209 pounds
- Current weight: 196 pounds
- Time on diet so far: 3 weeks
How are you feeling so far?
I feel excited and nervous — the change was very dramatic. However, this is a diet that I can actually continue for a long time and expand on.
What was the turning point that made you want to lose weight?
A car accident I was in this past August. My car was totaled, leaving me without a vehicle and forcing me to depend on others. When I was in the hospital after the accident, nurses told me I was obese. Hearing that offended me and I knew right then I wanted to make a change.
Have you tried a diet before? What's different about this one?
Yes, about five years ago, but I stopped because I wasn't drinking enough water. [The 21-Day Weight-Loss Breakthrough] increased my water intake to 72 oz. a day. I did well with portioned meals, and I also love having a support group of other people who are also on the diet. It's nice feeling like you're not going through the diet alone and could talk about different things.
What's your end goal, both in terms of weight and life in general?
I never had self-love. I was always too busy caring about everyone but myself, so that's something I would like to tap into. As for my weight, ideally my goal is 120 pounds. I want to make sure I'm always there for my niece and nephew.
What's your favorite healthy snack?
Definitely any fruit with peanut butter!
Have you had any cravings during the diet?
I was extremely emotional and very sensitive to the point where anything would make me cry. I'd constantly crave chocolate and Starbucks and would drink seven cups of Starbucks a day, which equated to $450 a month. Plus, my drink of choice was a Marble Mocha Macchiato with three pumps of vanilla whip cream.
What helped beat my chocolate and coffee cravings was doing mini-challenges throughout my diet. The first one I tried was a water challenge. At that point I was drinking maybe 1/2 cup of water a week. I bought a water bottle with an infuser, which allowed me to put fruit at the bottom and water inside. Eventually it got me to drink 72 oz. of water a day! The second challenge was a book called Radical Self-Love. Both of these challenges made it possible for me to continue the diet.
Have there been any times you've wanted to stop? What's kept you motivated?
The only time I ever wanted to stop was when I was emotional and going through really bad withdrawal. But the other challenges that helped me focus on the task motivated me to keep going.
What kind of physical activity have you been doing since starting the diet?
I walk and do Zumba two to three times a week. I've been an instructor since 2002.
What do you like about this diet?
I really liked my results and the people I met along the way. Most importantly, though, the knowledge I gained that helped me through my journey.
What has surprised you about this experience?
I was really surprised by how much I changed physically and mentally. I used to hear information about weight loss on TV and The Dr. Oz Show. I never dreamed I could actually stick to changing my lifestyle, go on a diet, and meet Dr. Oz in the process.
Do you have any advice for other people considering trying this diet?
Honestly, you have absolutely nothing to lose from doing this diet. Stick with it and I promise you'll get your life and motivation back.
The interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.