Dana Littleton in Good Housekeeping
Dana Littleton Lost 112 Pounds
Stats: Married with two daughters; 34 years old; from Guntersville, Alabama
Heaviest Weight: 250
Current Weight: 138
Time It Took: 10 months
How She Gained: Two miscarriages in 2001 sent Littleton into a deep depression - and the only thing that comforted her was food. "Whenever something went wrong or bothered me, I'd eat," she says. She stashed Swiss Cake Rolls in her car and purse, just in case she needed a pick-me-up. Within 3 months, she had gained 50 pounds. And that was just the beginning.
Turning Point: On January 2, 2003, she saw Bob Greene on TV and went out that same day to buy his book The Get with the Program! Guide to Good Eating. She ended up underlining almost every sentence. At the same time, she realized that her two young daughters were learning her bad eating habits. "I thought to myself, They can end up like me, or I can break the cycle here," she says.
How She Lost: Littleton started using a NordicTrack machine for 15 minutes a day. Each time she exercised, she would try to stay on for two minutes longer. She also began running - at first, just from her front door to her mailbox, but she slowly built up to an eight-mile workout. "When I felt like giving up, I'd pray for the willpower to continue," she says. Her diet had to change too. Littleton cut out all high-calorie foods and stopped munching after dinner: "After 2 weeks, I felt so much thinner."
How Bob Greene Helped: His book made it clear that you can't let anything interfere with obligations to yourself. Says Littleton, "I never understood before that if I took care of myself, I'd be better able to take care of my children and husband."
Best Compliment: After Littleton dropped 100 pounds, her nine-year-old daughter hugged her and said, "Mama, I've never been able to put my arms all the way around you before!" Littleton also won't forget her husband's comment: "You're more beautiful than you've ever been."
Low-Cal Snack Secret: Littleton puts Cool Whip Free in the freezer so that it'll taste like ice cream.
Her Number One Rule: "If you mess up, it's OK. Just keep going."
The Ultimate Payoff: Even when Littleton can't afford to buy new clothes, she goes out and simply tries things on. "It feels better than anything you can put in your mouth," she says.