0 I Lost 105 Pounds Posted on January 30, 2015 by womancore Special Offer Before (1998): 235 lbs After (2012): 130 lbs One small purchase changed Ellen Brenneman’s life. The 42-year-old painter from South Bend, IN, shares her secrets to amazing weight loss. My weight issues began in collegeI had a difficult time adjusting to the lifestyle and pressures. I started overeating as a way to deal with my insecurities and the stress of fitting in with other students. I soothed my emotions with food and mindlessly snacked late at night. By the time I graduated, I was officially overweight, and the number on the scale went up from there as I started my life in the real world. Turning Point My father was heavy and died in 1998 from type 2 diabetes complications. At the funeral, people who hadn’t seen me in years looked stunned at how big I was. Then it hit me: At 5’2″ and 235 pounds, I was larger than I realized. I became afraid that I would develop diabetes and die young if I didn’t make some lifestyle changes soon. My Crucial Tool A month after my dad’s death, I made a $12 impulse buy: a pedometer. I’d read that you should do 10,000 steps a day to maintain a healthy weight, so I made it my mission to reach that goal. A few months after I began walking, I started eating more fruits, veggies and whole grains and limited my sweets to only one or two small treats a week. Success! By 2005, I reached a healthy weight of 130 pounds. Instead of setting out to lose a certain amount by a certain time, I adopted healthier habits slowly, which made them feel more like second nature. Keeping It Off In September 2010, I started a blog (FatGirlWearingThin.com) to meet other health-minded people and keep myself accountable. I’ve maintained my weight over the past seven years with regular exercise and a diet full of veggie burgers, Greek yogurt, fruit, tofu, hummus, chicken, high-fiber cereal, whole-wheat pasta, couscous and almond milk. Today I feel strong and confidenttwo words I never thought I would use to describe myself. Above all else, I’m proud that I’m healthy and no longer at high risk of developing diabetes like my father. My stick-with-it secret: Push beyond your comfort zone with exercise. The more traditional forms of fitness, like running and going to the gym, didn’t appeal to me, so I made a point of trying new things. I learned how to kayak and ride a bicycle for the first time at 41! If you make exercise fun, you’ll look forward to it.