When Katrina saw the needle on her scale pass the 200-pound mark, the light bulb went on.
"I knew I had to do something," she says. "I wanted to honor the donor of my transplanted kidney and wanted to be healthy for my family."
About that time, she received a free trial invitation to sample the WebMD Weight Loss program. So she decided to give it a chance. Like many others, she had tried a variety of diets to no avail.
The 33-year-old Elmwood, Ind., native started the WLC program in May 2004 at 218 pounds. She now weighs in at 183 pounds -- that's a loss of 35 pounds from her 5-feet-8-inch frame.
How did she do it?
"I stay on the program 75% of the time and [don't] worry about the other 25%, always keep up my fitness, and try to eat a protein- and fiber-rich meal or snack every three hours," she says. "Losing the first 10% was a major victory for me because it proved that I can do this."
Katrina enjoys the structure of her individualized eating plan: breakfast every morning, three servings of fruit and dairy, and as many veggies as she can eat each day, with sweets permitted one day every two weeks. It's worked like a charm for her.
She also relies on WLC's articles and email tips. Each day, she checks for new articles on the site so she can learn more about effective weight management.
And she keeps herself active, working out at Curves five days a week, taking brisk 30-minute walks four days a week, walking her dogs, and doing fitness videos.
Like many other members, she has encountered obstacles to her progress. When she broke her foot, it sent her into a tailspin. She was unable to work out for four months, so she accepted simply maintaining her weight at that point.
But as soon as she got the green light to exercise, "I kicked everything back into high gear and lots of activity," she says.
Today, she feels good about herself and her accomplishments.
"It takes awhile to realize how much different you look but once you feel the difference, you walk with more confidence," she says. She also says she has "tons more energy" and feels happier because of the endorphins (the so-called "happy hormones") that come from regular exercise.
Secrets of Her Success
Success is all about making the WLC program work for you. Here's Katrina's advice to fellow members:
- Take baby steps. Don't try to do it all at once.
- Make one change at a time so you don't get overwhelmed.
- If you're not using the online journal, at least keep a notebook and write down what you eat.
- Make yourself a priority in your life. Always make time to work out -- skipping it is not an option.
- Plan ahead for success. Make a schedule and stick to it.
- When you feel down, go for a walk or do some cleaning.
Lost: 35 pounds in 9 months on the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic program