About a year
High school IT teacher
42, married for 23 years to Roy, who has also lost about 80 pounds
About a size 22/24 to a size 2 [in pants and dresses]
"I eat every couple of hours, I graze throughout the day…It's taking what you eat normally in one meal and then stretching it out…It keeps the blood sugar level and I'm not hungry and looking for something to eat." Eating plenty of vegetables and lean meat works best for her. Also, for "health maintenance" and to keep herself honest, she writes in her journal about what she eats and does daily using Calorie King, available for $55 per year. She also posts regularly on her Web site, www.msteechur.com.
"I cannot have frosting in the house. [If I see it,] I have to stick my fingers in it. It's one of those things that are calorie dense…It's like taking in a couple hundred calories without thinking about it. I don't make cakes either." For birthday celebrations, Tory and her husband go out and split a brownie. They've become so reconditioned to eating smaller portions that one is enough for the two of them.
Tory considers herself a "complete control freak." She realizes that she can't control some things in her life, but she can control her diet.
One hundred-calorie snack packs, crunchy Washington apples and low-fat string cheese. After a marathon, she may treat herself to a Reese's peanut butter cup.
"I wanted to gnaw off my arms," she says, during the first two weeks of switching to new habits. It was tough to stop mindless eating that left her stuffed. By transitioning away from junk food and switching to smaller meals, she came to understand that "feeling like you're going to explode after you eat is not normal."
: "The time was right…I wasn't getting any younger." Being big most of her life, Tory "started to notice little aches and owies and I chalked them out to being older." But at that time she was only 37 years old, and she worried about what she was going to feel like when she really was older.
"As a kid I hated P.E. but now I have the energy to run and to go through the day." She's learned to love exercise so much that she runs regularly in races, triathlons and marathons. The competition gives her a goal to help stay motivated throughout the year.
Prior to the weight loss, "my fat said volumes before I opened my mouth." Being overweight came with a stigma that she was "lazy, fat and sloppy," but now "who I am comes out of how I behave."
To freshen up her routine, she likes to see how other people maintain their weight loss and also enjoys "before" and "after" photos.