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From Grandma to Glamma: How I Lost 71 Pounds on the 123 Diet


My daughter pulled out her phone and grinned. “Let’s get a photo!” she said. My dad, daughters Krystle and Alicia, and five grandkids were all around at the time. Squeezing close together, all four generations of the family smiled as Krystle snapped away.

Later that day, when the photo popped into my Facebook feed, I was puzzled. A bulky woman with an enormous body was in the image. She was smiling, but her eyes seemed so sad. For a split second, I wondered who she was. Then, I realized that the woman was me.

Tears poured down my cheeks as I faced the awful truth for the first time in years. For most of my life, I had been a healthy size 10 or 12. But as time passed and the girls moved out, I had found myself slipping into depression.

For the past five years, there had been one comfort that could fill the pit of sadness inside me: food. My need to eat totally consumed me.

ana before

(Photo Credit: Now to Love)

For breakfast, I’d devour three bacon and egg McMuffins and hash browns from McDonald’s. Lunch would be a burger and chips, and for dinner, I’d polish off a pizza with a side of chicken wings. I would always treat myself to dessert and would snack on lollipops, chips, and chocolate.

As the pounds piled on, my self-esteem ebbed away. My grandchildren were my everything, but I found myself holding back from them. “Please come to my game,” Diyala, age 9, would plead. I’d shake my head. “Sorry, love, I can’t make it,” I would lie. There was just no way I could go. No one would want to be seen with me.

Soon, I couldn’t get my ballooning body up the stairs without wheezing, and my belly was so big that I couldn’t see my toes in the shower. Hiding away in baggy size 18 shirts and stretchy pants, I was in denial that I could change.

But as I looked at that pic Krystle had taken, something snapped. I weighed 190 pounds, which way too heavy for my 5’3″ frame. “I don’t want to be a fat nanna,” I decided. “I want to be a fit nanna!”

First, I joined a diet support group on Facebook. People were talking about the 123 Diet, which consisted of following a healthy clean-eating diet plan and taking some all-natural herbal drops, which helped curb food cravings. I had nothing to lose but the pounds, so I decided to give it a go. When the plan arrived, I was shocked. I couldn’t understand how fresh fruit and veggies could fill me up. I was worried that I was going to be famished.

“Focus, Ann,” I scolded. I had to do this for my family and for myself. So I dived into the plan, eating berries with apple and plain yogurt for breakfast, a prawn salad for lunch, and a chicken or steak stir-fry crammed with vegies for dinner. The first couple of days were tough, but I felt full and my cravings for treats subsided.

Apart from the housework, I didn’t do any exercise — but my energy levels soared. I could hardly believe it when I stood on the scale after the first week and saw that I had dropped a whole 15 pounds! It was just the boost I needed to keep going. After a month on the diet, I lost 26 pounds. “You look amazing!” Krystle cried when she saw me.

I hit my goal weight of 119 pounds within three months. As I slipped into a size 8 bikini, I hardly recognized myself. “I feel like a new woman,” I gasped.

ana after

(Photo Credit: Now to Love)

Now, you can’t keep me away from those weekend soccer games with the grandkids. Seeing them all smiling and waving at me makes my heart swell with happiness. I can’t believe that my body had kept me trapped for so long. I’ve gone from being fat and frumpy to 50 and fabulous. And I’m not just an ordinary grandma anymore. I’m GLAM-ma, and life’s never been sweeter.

This article was written by Ana Reyes, 50. For more, check out our sister site, Now to Love.

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