Find Out How Amanda Lost 137 Pounds and Counting!*

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Meet Amanda Pruss (DANDYMANDERZ), a bright young woman who has lost 137 pounds and counting! Find out how SparkPeople helped her on her journey to healthy living.

What is your age?: 22
How long have you been a SparkPeople member? How did you find SparkPeople?: I joined SparkPeople in 2010. If I remember correctly, I heard about it in a magazine article.
What is your favorite feature on SparkPeople?: I love the Motivational SparkPages feature. When I was first starting out, seeing how other people had lost the weight was a huge motivation. I knew if they could do it, I could do it.

How much weight have you lost?: In total, I have lost 137 pounds. I've lost 54 pounds since joining SparkPeople. 
How long did it take to lose the weight?: It's taken me about four or five years to lose the weight.
What was your light bulb moment that made you decide to lose weight?: My mom kept telling me she was afraid I would have a heart attack. I went to the doctor and I remember stepping on the scale and seeing 280 pounds. I was in shock--that was the heaviest I had ever been. I knew I needed a change.
What was your biggest obstacle while trying to lose weight?: Food. I love food because it just tastes so good and it is very comforting to me. I still struggle at times, but I keep a food journal to help me stay on track.
What does your weekly exercise schedule look like?: I exercise five days a week, usually at home. I have done everything from yoga and Pilates, to Tae Bo and weight training
What is your favorite way to exercise?: I would have to say using workout videos. It's in the privacy of my own home and I can do it on my own time. I love doing a mix of cardio and strength training.
Do you have any personal fitness goals coming up?: I would like to start using heavier weights during my weight training. I have been using five-pound weights and they are getting easy for me, so it's time for a challenge. I would also like to start jogging or running.
What does a typical day of food look like for you? How does this compare to the way you ate before your transformation?: I typically eat breakfast, lunch and dinner with snacks in between. I eat lots of fruits, veggies and protein. I use measuring cups to measure out all my portions. I also keep a food journal so I know how much and how often I am eating. Before, I would eat everything and anything all the time. I could eat entire boxes of cereal, pretzels, chocolate and pizza. I just ate to eat and I wouldn't stop even when I was so full I was uncomfortable.
What is your favorite healthy food?: Burritos. When made right, they can be delicious and healthy. I also measure out all my portions so I know just how many calories I am eating.
What is your favorite treat food?: Chocolate! I love anything chocolate, and I let myself have a few pieces during the week as long as it's in my calorie range.
Who is your biggest inspiration?: Richard Simmons. He is such an energetic and positive person. He has also kept off over 100 pounds for over 40 years. So many times I have heard it is so hard to lose the weight and keep it off for good, and he is one example of success.
Do you have a personal weight-loss philosophy that you live by that you’d like to share?: You have to go through the mental preparation before you can go through the physical transformation. If you are going to lose the weight and keep it off, you have to change your mindset. I think picturing yourself practicing your new lifestyle is a great way to keep yourself motivated and on track. Picture yourself exercising, making healthy eating decisions, and how those decisions fit into your daily life. If you can see yourself doing those things, it will be easier to stick with your new lifestyle.
Does Amanda inspire you? What tips of hers can you use in your own journey?

*Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program. 

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Thanks for sharing your story! Report
Thanks for sharing your story! I can't wait to share mine too--and it's inspirational members like you who help keep me on track. :-) Report
thank you amada for sharing your story.. so insiring.. the real truth helps alot.. it doesnt happen over night.. must keep at it.. thanks again.. you are a real inspiration. Report
congratulations Amanda . Thank you for sharing your story , its so inspiring . Report
Her heaviest weight is almost the same as mine - thanks so much for allowing your story to be told - very inspirational! Report
So proud of you and so inspirational!!! Thanks Amanda :) Report
Amazing inspiration and congratulations! Report
I use to weigh 280 when I was 18, I wanted to loose the weight and didn't know how to. I was 21 when I had my daughter and I was at 220 and loved my body, but slowly have gained the weight back in 3 years, I was at 260, I went to the dr and told them about me constantly being sad, they did blood work and found out my thyroid was messed up. I am now at 240, and still trying to get the weight off, just joined spark and hope it motivates me even more than before. Report
That is great, love your story. Report
Thank you for sharing your story!!! You have done such a great job, to take the weight off. Report
Wow ! ! ! You look like half the person you were before....maybe less. Did you know that there was such a beautiful person within you? Congrats on a job well done...Thank you for sharing. Report
Thank you so much for sharing your story. Like so many others have said, you are really an inspiration! Report
I love this lady! I'm going to start building some of the healthy habits she's mentioned, like measuring my food. Report
Wow!! I'm so impressed & inspired! Report
wow very inspiring .. I was having one of those bad days !!! .. no more though Report
Thanks for the inspiration Report
You look wonderful!!! I joined Sparkpeople today and hope to have some success to report in time. You are motivational! Report
You are amazing! Thank you for sharing your story :) It inspires me to keep going! Report
Thanks for sharing, you are an inspiration to us at Sparkpeople and you look great. Report
I love Richard Simmons too. And have his work out video's in the closet. It's time to take them out and work out with Richard Simmons. I love to dance so why not. Thank you Report
That was awesome, just 2 days ago I got my ayah moment I'm going to participate in my life... that physical transformation from being emotional eater to healthy life style BAM! Report
Amanda, Great job ! Most of all, thanks for sharing how long it took for you to lose that much weight. Report
I am 220 lbs and you are an inspiration to me Report
Wonderful!!! Report
A-MAZ-ING!! Report
You look great Report
Congratulations and thank you. It helps to know that the long hard slog is possible and works. Report
Thank you for sharing your journey..It helps all of us see that hard work does pay off..and the benefits are there for all to see.. You do look much healthier and happier..Congradulations ! Report
Congratulations! I'm inspired by your long-term (several year) dedication. Report
I joined SparkPeople about 3 weeks ago and you show me that it can work. Great Job. Thanks for sharing. Report
Such a great point Amanda and I believe it with my whole heart. Our minds must be ready and strong for the journey of weight loss and a happier life. Report
I recently joined spark and it is so refreshing to read Amanda's story. I think when you have been so heavy as long as I have it is hard to see the light. You want to see success so quickly that you have to remember this is years of unhealthy eating the weight will not disappear overnight. Her story has reenforced patience and staying honest by measuring and logging accurately. Winging it does not work you can be estimating less or worse overestimating. Thank you!!! Report
What a great success you have made in your life. It was hard for you but you kept at it. Great job! Report
for one so young, you have some great advice - you have to change your mental attitude to keep it off.
so true.
i am striving to change my mental attitude and all that comes with it!
never doubt it, you are inspirational! Report
So inspirational Report
Awesome! Report
Amanda you're amazing!! Congratulations!! Its success stories like yours that keeps me going!! Thank You!! Report
WOW Amanda! Way to go! I too am finding inspiration from people like you, just as you stated you did. I related so well with so many of your answers. Especially, how you felt about food.
At times I think I'm just gonna end up this fat girl forever. Then I read articles like yours & it makes me hopeful. Thanks for sharing Report
Amazing, congratulations Report
Wow Amanda! Congratulations you are a true inspiration. I too believe that your mental attitude has alot to do with your weight loss . You look great. You must be so proud! Thanks for sharing...... This has inspired me to not give up. . Report
You look wonderful... Report
This is so inspirational, and you look great. I have a total of 40 pounds to loose; So far i've lost 15. Hearing your story just makes me feel even more motivated to achieve my goal. Thank you so much for sharing. Report
You should be proud of yourself. Great job!! Report
Amanda, you look so good you've have done such a great job. Report
Congrats, well done, hope I do as well as you :)
thanks for sharing Report
Amanda, you look so beautiful! I am struggling trying to lose 20 pounds and you lost 137! Wow, that is awesome. I really enjoyed reading about your journey! Love your short hair also. Pat yourself on the so deserve it! Report
Thanks for sharing! You look great! I love working out with fitness tapes too. Report
Congrats on all your success! Your story sounds just like mine. I love Sweatin' to the Oldies with Richard Simmons. They are the best workout videos I've used.
Really inspirational! I prefer working out at home with videos too so it's good to know that if I stick at I can achieve those sorts of results!
Your story in particular inspires me because you are around my age!! Congratulations! You look great! Report
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