Susan Nace, 52, of Dallas, Texas, had always been proud of her 24-inch waist. “I never had to exercise,” she says. But all the eating she’s done since she got married 19 years ago caught up with her. By 2009, she was lugging 170 pounds around on her five-foot eight-inch frame, her waist had expanded to 32 inches and she had traded her size-four pants for size 14s. “My husband ate a lot and I kept up with him,” she says. She also had a sweet tooth. “Eating chocolate ice cream at 10:30 at night is not the best thing for your waist,” she admits.
It was her passion for fashion and a poor self-image that finally prompted her to take action. “Dolce & Gabbana do not make size 14 dresses,” she says. In the fall of 2009 she joined a fitness program at the famed Cooper Fitness Center in Dallas. While she lost about six pounds, she regained it over the holidays.
In May 2010, she decided it was now or never. She went back to thefitness center, initially walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike for one hour five to six days a week and working with a trainer once or twice a week. She also cut back to 1600 calories per day, eating smaller portions of healthy foods like fruits, vegetables and fish or chicken. Within a month she had dropped 10 pounds. When the pace of her weight loss slowed, she bumped up her aerobic exercise to two hours per day. The result: “I lost 30 pounds in 100 days,” she says proudly. Soon after she shed another three.
Susan isn’t about to slack off. She still does about an hour of cardio exercise five to six days per week and watches what she eats. “I have never had a stomach like this,” says Susan, who weighs 137 and is back down to size fours, the pay-off for shaving four inches from her waist. “It was good old-fashioned hard work,” she says of her success. “At times it was grueling, but the reward is so worth it.”