Sally Squires's Lean Plate Club - Success Stories

Gain Inspiration From Others Who Have Lost Weight
Anjali Garg
Successful Loser

Anjali Garg

Bethesda, Md.

Pounds Lost


Time To Do It:

"I really started [four years ago in 2003] after my dad had bypass surgery and before he had the cancer removed from his prostate...I maintained it for a while." Stressed out by her work on the 2004 presidential election and wrapping up her senior year and transitioning to the working world, she regained some of the pounds she had shed. In 2005, she re-committed her efforts for losing weight.


Program manger for a government scholarship program, works at Weight Watchers part-time


23 years old; dating

Maintained Weight:

More than one year

Size Change:

14 dress size to an 8; her slimmed down waist has been most dramatic

Healthy Habits Added:

Before losing the weight, she "loved to eat out, it's a way of celebrating." Now eating out takes more planning; she studies online menus to decide what is best for her to eat, but luckily being in the city allows for a variety of options. For example, she discovered sushi on an outing, which is a good alternative for her. Even though she allows a splurge sporadically, she gravitates towards light, baked potato chips; Boca products and fresh fruits and vegetables at the local farmers market. She also takes an energizing walk whenever possible.

Trigger Food:

"I don't necessarily crave a food, but when my mood is not right, I will binge on anything. When I gain control of other things in my life, it's a lot easier to deal with my weight loss."

Secret Weapon:

What a portion size should be in reality. Being of Indian descent, she had a tough time politely declining food. For her relatives, in particular her mom, serving food was synonymous with showing love, so it was difficult for her to say no or limit her portion. Yet with time, her mom understood what Anjali really wanted and now Anjali eats smaller portions and doesn't leave anything on her plate.

Favorite Snacks:

Seasonal fruits, like crunchy grapes or juicy watermelons

Biggest Struggle:

After graduation, being around co-workers who weren't doing the same thing - trying to lose weight. At school, Anjali and a friend teamed up: They would cook, take shopping trips and indulge in rewards together.

What Motivated Her to Succeed:

During her winter break at the beginning of 2005, she had a really bad case of the flu. "I couldn't eat for about a week because I was so sick." When she returned to school at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, she saw all the weight she had lost and was determined to stop yo-yoing. Moreover, she had one semester left of school, one semester of access to the free university gym and one semester until a new start in D.C. "If I don't do it now, I never will. I was told it's easier to do when you're younger. For me a quality of life was important."

Rewards Along the "Weigh":

Cute clothes. "Before I couldn't fit into the newest fashions. It was very emotional to watch other people wear cute things; now I don't feel that struggle as much as I used to."

Benefits of Weight Loss:

Little fear that her lifestyle will negatively impact her health and her sister, a doctor, uses Anjali's story to encourage their father to lose weight.

What She's Learned From the Lean Plate Club:

Helpful and timely news, a great source for vegetarian recipes and interesting ideas from the Tuesday chatters.

More from the Lean Plate Club

Read Sally's latest column, sign up for the weekly newsletter and participate in the weekly Lean Plate Club live discussion and daily group. Plus, learn what the Lean Plate Club is all about.

© 2008 The Washington Post Company