“Diet and exercise” is the answer you’ll get if you ask “how do I
lose weight?” but Teresa Bleifus, who lost 100+ pounds on Nutrisystem,
knows from her own experience that it takes a little more than that
Teresa went from a size 26 to a size 6–145 pounds lost*–with Nutrisystem and became one of four Nutristar Giveaway winners in 2015. “I have lost weight in the past and have never been able to keep it off,” Teresa says, knowing how hard starting a weight loss journey can be after having experienced failure. But after not being able to ride a rollercoaster with her son due to her weight, Teresa knew it was time for a change.
“This time is different because I have the tools to keep it off, the determination to not go back, the understanding that I have the power–not the people around me–and most of all the love of my son who will always tell me the honest truth,” Teresa says. “He loves me and wants me to live a long healthy life.”
Teresa started out with a mix of diet and exercise but recognized she had to find a healthy balance. “In the beginning it was really about the food,” she says. “I wasn’t able to do more than 15 minutes of cardio without completely losing my breath.”
From slow and steady, Teresa has won the race. Having lost 100+ pounds, she isn’t shy about being active and getting some rays on the beach. “On another level, I have come to understand that people do treat you differently based on how you present yourself,” Teresa explains. “Some say they treat overweight people differently. Yep, they do, but it is actually because they are really responding to your actions.”
“The real trick is to stay on the diet,” Teresa advises. “Take control of your eating and the situations you put yourself in. I would take my own dressing out to restaurants and order salads without cheese and croutons. I also ordered sandwiches in a wrap. Most importantly, I stayed on the diet until I felt strong enough and determined to not slide backwards.”
Are you counting down to your weight loss goal? To help you get there, here are 10 more weight loss tips from Teresa Bleifus, who lost 100+ pounds… and then some:
1. Set a long-term weight loss goal.
“My long-term goal was to be able to go a store and try on normal size clothes. I had never been able to do that, and when the day came that I did, tears rolled down my face.”
2. Set short-term attainable weight loss goals.
“My first goal was to last 20 minutes on the elliptical. Then it was to lose the first 100 pounds by the time my child started school in the fall. Then it was to look fabulous on my 50th birthday. Now it’s just to maintain my success.”
3. Get started on an exercise routine.
“I started with the elliptical at 15 minutes at level one and then progressed slowly. One of my greatest fears was to get injured and derail my weight loss.”
4. Add a measure of weight lifting.
“When my son wanted to paint stripes on my arms for July 4th so I could wave my flags, I decided to start with light free weights. The major factor in my success is Nutrisystem, but working out and toning up is key.”
5. Use the Nutrisystem support system.
“Day one I started using NuMi to count calories and track my exercise. This is very simple and is tremendously helpful to make decisions on food choices, especially at the end of the day.”
6. Get rid of old clothes that don’t fit.
“I kept one dress as a reminder and got rid of everything else. Because I went from a size 26 to a size six in 18 months*, I wasn’t in one size very often. Don’t break the bank; go to goodwill or a thrift store and buy just what you need to get by. Don’t buy things you really love, because you really don’t want to keep them. Then when you get to where you want, buy the good stuff. Make sure you treat yourself!”
7. Surround yourself with a great support system.
“That doesn’t mean all overweight people trying to lose weight with you. My work ‘cheerleaders’ would bring me veggie platters when it was potluck. When I went to my friends’ houses with my Nutrisystem food for dinner, they didn’t make me feel bad. They supported my efforts.”
8. Get rid of the toxic people in your life.
“It is amazing where they come from, but stay on the lookout for those who don’t want you to change and ignore them.”
9. Embrace the new you.
“As my weight came off, I began to not recognize myself. A trainer at the gym had me look in the mirror and tell myself, ‘This is who I am and I’m never going back.’ I still have to do this from time to time when I don’t recognize myself.”
10. Believe in yourself.
“In the end, you have to respect and take care of yourself. You only have one body, so go take care of it!”