Monday, January 2, 2012
Naperville mom drops half her weight through 'want power' Diet, exercise helped her lose 203 pounds: 'Just stick to it and it can be done'
January 3, 2012
Marge Lyse can't wait for her 35-year high school reunion. People seldom recognize her since she lost more than half her weight.
Back in 2001, Lyse used food to comfort herself during a divorce and ballooned to 378 pounds. While dancing at a party, too embarrassed to take off her blazer, the Naperville mom overheated and collapsed.
"I decided the next day, I'm not doing that anymore," she said. "That was my 'A-ha!' moment."
Lyse started drinking Slim Fast shakes for breakfast and lunch and eating a healthy dinner. Conveniently, she worked as a billing assistant at Midtown Athletic Club in Willowbrook, so she began exercising there every day after work.
After starting on the treadmill, she worked her way up to other cardio workouts like Zuma dance and began lifting weights.
She stopped drinking shakes but kept eating healthy and counting calories and sweated off the weight. For the last 30 pounds, she wore an armband calorie counter to make sure she was burning more than she was taking in.
By sticking to her system, she lost 203 pounds, down to 175; went from a size 26 to an 8; and has kept the weight off for almost 10 years. Though she previously suffered from asthma, she no longer has to use inhalers or medications, and feels fantastic.
"We make so many promises to other people," she said. "I decided I have to make a promise to myself. I wasn't doing this for anybody else. I was giving myself something."
Now 52, she has since remarried. Asked if her ex-husband is jealous, Lyse laughed and said, "Oh, God, I hope so."
Lyse is one of several people featured in the Jan. 9 People magazine cover story who dropped their size by half. She is scheduled to appear Tuesday on the "Today" show on NBC. She doesn't have any endorsement deals but hopes her story can inspire New Year's resolutions.
"Just stick to it and you can do it," she said. "It's not so much willpower, it's want power. You really have to want it, and it can be done."
— Robert McCoppin
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