She Makes a Point to Exercise and Dance Her Way into Shape

I got serious about my diet in September 1998. On the way to Utah for a family funeral, I spent the night in Las Vegas and decided to pick up a couple of new outfits for line dancing. When I couldn't get into a size 18 pants, that was it! I remembered enough about the Weight Watchers point system (I had gone to a couple of meetings but didn't stick to it) to get me through the next few days until I got back home.

After that, I went out and bought a treadmill, using it every night that I didn't line dance--first for 20 minutes and then, when I wasn't losing weight, up to 45 minutes, and eventually to 60 minutes, five days a week.

You always read not to exercise before you go to bed, but for me, 8 p.m. was ideal. Enough time had passed after dinner and household chores, and I usually got to watch a whole show on TV. Then I read for a while and talked to my husband, and, 45 minutes to an hour after using the treadmill, I was ready for a good night's sleep.

The thing I loved about my weight loss plan was that nothing is off limits: You can use your points as you like. When I realized I could eat anything and still lose, I started making better choices, adding more fruit and vegetables. I rarely drink alcohol--first, it gives me headaches and, second, I'd rather have food. I do have a sweet tooth, so nearly every day I would have something sweet.

Initially, I thought 20 pounds would be enough, but after 20 I still couldn't wear a lot of my clothes. So I decided I'd try for 10 more pounds. It seemed to get easier--why not try for 10 more and then 10 more? In just under a year, I had lost 50 pounds--from a size 18 to an 8 or 10. Now I believe the saying "Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels." It's fun to shop again, and I can't remember having this much energy in a long time.

Because of my busy schedule, I don't cook at home much. I'm either eating lunch with clients or having dinner out with my husband. I needed something that would work without having to prepare special meals every night. Plus, I wanted to learn how to eat, so that I could keep the weight off once I reached my goal.

So far, it's been four months, and the weight is still off. I weigh myself every other day, so it won't get away from me again. On average, I now dance once a week and use the treadmill three times a week for 40 minutes. I eat pretty much what I want--just smaller portions--and I try not to eat too late in the day.

Vital Statistics

Name: Priscilla Vincent

Age: 54

Occupation: Sales representative

Height: 5 feet, 10 1/2 inches tall

Old weight: 193

New weight: 143

Time to get there: 11 months

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