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Sara J.
Winner Story #276

Sara J. from Struthers, OH

The prize amount depends on several factors that you input, including your weight loss goal. You only get your prize if you achieve your goal by the end of your weight loss competition. The average prize for goal achievers is $1,331. Weight loss is challenging – we supply the fun, motivation and accountability, but you have to supply the effort!

Sara J.

Name: Sara J.

From: Struthers, OH

Lost: 79 lbs

in: 12 months

Won: $3226

"It all started after my 33rd birthday. It had snowed in Northeast Ohio and looked beautiful. I wanted to walk down to the creek to take family photos. My husband obliged. When we were done, I hated every photo. I couldn’t stand how I looked. It was apparent that there was no camera trick to hide all the weight I’d put on in the last decade. I decided then I wouldn’t ‘be so ugly’ for my 34th birthday. So after the cake was all eaten and the New Year rolled in, I made a resolution…and I stuck with it.

I resolved to ‘do better for myself.’ I started off walking outside at least a mile and a half a day, through the snow and ice. I started counting calories and learned about eating healthier. It was hard at first. I was smacked in the face with the reality that I not only ate too much, but ate for the wrong reasons. Sure, I ate when I was hungry. But I also ate when I was frustrated at work. I ate when I was depressed, which is a lot when you have Seasonal Affective Disorder. I had never realized how much I used chocolate, ice cream, and my husband’s chicken bake as a pick me up. After a month of walking and calorie counting, I was pleased with my progress.

I had heard of HealthyWage from a news segment and decided to give it a go. HealthyWage helped me stay focused on my end goal on days I felt like giving up. An unexpected thing happened.

As the numbers on the scale went down and as I kept pushing toward my goal, I started to like myself again. I could keep up better with my dogs when they ran in the yard. I was no longer than the person slowing hikes down. I even completed a 20-mile hike and still felt like I could have hiked further. I became a happier person. Even friends and family I don’t see often, noticed the difference in personality, as well as in my appearance.

I can honestly say, I like myself again. I don’t grimace when I catch my reflection out of the corner of my eye. I don’t find excuses to avoid doing difficult outside chores. I am open to new adventures (20-mile hike or fitness classes at the gym). Heck, I even went back to college because I finally had enough of my lost confidence back to feel I could do better for myself and that I deserved better.

It might sound dumb and exaggerated, but I really feel I have a new life. I haven’t felt this good physically or mentally in easily a decade. I didn’t even know how bad things had gotten, since it was all so gradual. I’m not sure I would have met my goal, at least not in the timeframe I wanted, had it not been for HealthyWage."

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