Wow! Can you imagine what it must feel like to lose half your weight? It's no wonder the two pictures of Lisa Griffis look nothing alike.
This remarkable 49-year-old journalist from Cleveland, Ohio, lost 177 pounds! Lisa went from weighing 340 pounds to weighing 163 pounds. And she has maintained that weight for 2-1/2 years.
According to Lisa, she grew up in a family of hearty eaters. Her parents and siblings all had weight issues and most meals at home contained mayonnaise, sour cream or Cool Whip. In high school, Lisa recalls always being the largest girl in class.
After Lisa graduated college, she worked as a journalist chasing jobs across the country. An emotional eater, Lisa binged on food to compensate for loneliness and job stress.
She ate to make herself feel better, but it was a vicious cycle that only made her feel worse. “I couldn’t control what was going on so I overate,” she said. “I never stopped until the container was empty.”
Growing up, Lisa was used to being called "fatso" or "lard butt" by her school peers. But one hurtful incident remains with Lisa to this day. One Halloween, as she walked her dog, kids in a car sped by to throw eggs at her and yell “fat ass” out the window. The eggs left temporary bruises - but their words left marks for years to come.
Emotionally, Lisa felt defeated. She considered herself a hopeless cause, with little encouragement from her friends or family. “Giving up on my problem because it seemed insurmountable felt like I was giving up on myself,” Lisa said.
Lisa thought about dieting on a regular basis but never put a plan into action. Weighing 340 pounds, Lisa's doctors asked her to consider gastric bypass surgery, but she ignored their suggestion.
The turning point came one day while Lisa was looking at a recent group photo of herself with old college friends. Lisa says she didn't recognize herself. She said it was like looking at a picture of a stranger.
“I had employed my usual trick of hiding behind people to cover up just how large I had become,” Lisa said. “But I realized that at 340 pounds, I couldn't ignore the words ‘morbidly obese’ any longer. I was too young to die.”
It was at that moment that Lisa decided to do something about her weight. She grabbed her Suzanne Somers book (Eat, Cheat and Melt the Fat Away) off the shelf and read it for the first time. This was the first of many books that Lisa read and took to heart as she began change her lifestyle.
Lisa became her own nutritionist and trainer. She assembled a gym in her basement using an exercise ball, weights, and workout DVDs. “It felt great to take charge of my life,” she said.
With the motto “nothing tastes as good as being thin,” Lisa began limiting her food choices to home-cooked meals, since she knew she lacked control in restaurants.
Lisa lost the first 100 pounds in 18 months and the following year, lost the remaining 77 pounds.
Today, Lisa works out nearly three hours a day, not because she needs to, but because she loves being active. Lisa enjoys walking, riding her bike and swimming.
Although she still experiences some setbacks, including stress-eating, she’s better able to recognize her bad behavior before it consumes her day. “I try to take a minute to breathe and relax instead of reaching for food,” she said.
Lisa's dream of one day being a normal sized person has come to fruition.
"Now I know that anything is possible."
Check out Lisa's reveal on The Today Show here.
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© 2008 Thanks for taking the time to read A Junk-Foodaholic's Journey to a Healthy Lifestyle. Please feel free to peruse my blog for more great content.