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TaJuan M., of Memphis, Tenn.: continued...

TaJuan's key challenge: Her job involves a lot of travel, and sticking to a healthy diet can be difficult. "I can't easily mix up high-protein smoothies in my hotel room," she says. Her solution? She did some research, and found a liquid protein drink made for people with medical conditions -- then got her doctor's OK. "I wanted to make sure I was getting the nutrition I needed," she says.

Though she’s not into sports, "I do like walking," TaJuan says, "especially walking around my neighborhood. I get in about a half-hour every day. I'm walking four flights of stairs every day. I'm in better shape to do it."

People keep telling her how great she looks, she says. "They're asking my husband, 'Are you going to be able to handle this new wife you've got?'" Her reply: "I'm sticking with the man who stuck with me through thick and thin."

Peggy K., of Pittsburgh:

It's been 18 months since Peggy had gastric banding surgery -- and she's dropped from 200 to 150. Losing those 50 pounds has boosted her health in many ways. She had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol. Now, "I have a lot more energy,” Peggy says. “I look better, wear smaller sizes. My cholesterol is normal. I'm not diabetic."

Because of the weight loss surgery, it's a lot easier to stop eating when she's full, she says. "I knew I needed that physical barrier, because I don't like to deprive myself. When I'm enjoying something, I want to keep eating it. The band is a saving grace."

When she eats out with friends, Peggy says, she simply can't eat an entire entrée. "I take half of it home for the next day -- or I just order an appetizer for dinner."

Peggy's key challenge: She eats too many snack foods, too may sweets, and drinks too many chai lattes, Peggy admits. They go down easily, but don't make her feel full -- and add too many calories to her diet. "I give in to temptation," she says. "It's a struggle."

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