Girlfriends' Diet Club: The Weight-Loss Program That Helped 3 Women Lose 60 Pounds
Three women discovered they shared the same goal: to lose 20 pounds and keep it off. Here’s how they developed their own weight-loss program to slim down—and how you can too.
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More Than Just Losing Weight.
Today, three and a half years later, they still rely on each other to help keep the weight off—and they’ve learned a thing or two about themselves.
“When I looked in my closet and realized that everything in it fit, that was my ‘aha’ moment,” says Nancy. “And I was motivated to keep up with my new good habits.” For Julie, it was discovering that she could routinely be in the kitchen with her kids after school and not be tempted by their afterschool treats: “I stopped grazing, something I’d done for years. I realized how often I used to eat mindlessly. Now I enjoy afternoon snacks with intention and have actually found that eating carefully means I enjoy food more.” Judy realized after she reached her goal that she finally felt like herself again: “When I stopped exercising as much after I went back to work, I lost a part of who I was. Reaching my weight goal was really about rediscovering myself, and a big part of that for me is the daily exercise regime I now maintain.”
They also gained lifelong friends. “We became very close through this experience. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for them,” says Judy. And that built-in support system was what really drove their success.The walks were “their therapy,” they say, where they talked about their husbands and kids, goals and dreams, along with reviewing how their weight loss was going. “If I had an upcoming event like a cocktail party, our walk would become a strategy session,” says Nancy. “We’d discuss what food was likely to be served, how I’d stay on track without calling attention to myself as the ‘dieter,’ whether it was better to eat beforehand, what would be hard to resist. By the time the walk was over, I’d have a plan because my girlfriends had talked me through it.”
The accountability they felt toward each other also kept them in check. Judy and Julie—who tended to snack later at night—made a pact not to eat past 7:00 or 8:00 in the evening and rarely did, not wanting to let each other down. The commitment was especially effective when it came to exercise. “Even when I really didn’t want to walk, I went anyway. I couldn’t disappoint them,” says Judy. And they weren’t afraid to keep tabs on each other either: “Early one Sunday morning when Julie was away on vacation, she called me at what would have been our usual post-exercise time and asked how my workout went,” says Nancy. “I was so busted. I had to admit to her that when my alarm went off, I smiled at the thought that she was away, hit snooze, and rolled over and went back to sleep. You’d better believe I stayed on track during the rest of her trip.”
These days even though the three friends don’t regularly cook for each other anymore, you can still find them walking through their neighborhood nearly every evening. “We rely on each other not just for our health, but for our daily lives,” says Julie. “They’ve become the sisters I never had.”
Kristyn Kusek Lewis is a veteran magazine writer and the author of the novel How Lucky You Are. Visit her website at kristynkuseklewis.com