Ok, several have asked to see the article since they can't access it online since it's a paid site. I got the ok, so here it is. I copy and pasted it from the website so if it has weird editing, that's why. Also as a very minor note- I actually have lost 237.6 lbs, but who's counting, lol. ;) I feel so honored and humbled that the times would want to do a story about my journey, and then feature it on the front page of the Saturday edition! Thank you! :) They had before and after pictures of me as well, so I am including them at the end, with the captions that were on the story.
236 pounds lighter — Colleen Martin proves determination and lifestyle change turn dramatic loss into terrific gain
BY JENNA STINSON
Times Staff Writer
Making a significant lifestyle change can be challenging task for most people. One Adams County woman has seen her fair share of trials and triumphs on her path to losing over 200 pounds.
Colleen Martin, 27, has been working on her major lifestyle change for over three years.
"When I came back from my honeymoon in 2009, I just hit rock bottom and realized that I was killing myself by eating. I wondered how I would ever be happy married if I wasn't happy with myself," she said.
Martin said that at her heaviest, she weighed in at around 435 pounds.
Martin took the first step in her new healthy life by joining Curves. "That was the perfect first step for me because it taught me how to enjoy exercise again," she said.
Martin lost 36 pounds by changing her diet and going to Curves, but she wanted to do more. "It took me a while, about six months, to lose those first pounds. I just snapped and decided to come to the Weight Watchers meeting," she said.
This is where Martin met Joni Bonfiglio, the Weight Watchers meeting leader in Gettysburg and Chambersburg. Bonfiglio would undoubtedly become one of Martin's biggest allies in her journey to a healthier body.
"When I weighed in that first meeting, I cried. That's when Joni told me I would never see those numbers again," said Martin.
Before starting the Weight Watchers program, Martin said she tried a number of other things that didn't yield the same results.
"Joni has been awesome and she really just made it all click for me," she said.
Martin said that one of the biggest advantages to the Weight Watchers program was the new understanding of food. "Before the programs I didn't really have a handle on the food aspect," she said.
"I changed how I think about food and I can modify it to fit my life. I haven't eaten fast food since October 21, 2009. I don't do buffets either. What worked for me is that I'm not really on a specific diet," she added.
Martin's husband, Adrian, a sportswriter at the Gettysburg, Times, said that he knew all along his wife could lose the weight she wanted.
"The thing that she may not realize is the fact that she has accomplished this and it was inside her all along. She has always been a special person and this just proves it," he said.
Martin is an inspiration to her fellow Weight Watchers, and those in her support system.
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"I even started going to the YWCA-Gettysburg about a year ago. It makes me want to live a healthier life," her husband said.
Having that good support system is a must in an endeavor like Martin's.
"It was a learning curve at first. I had to lay down the law with my husband and tell him certain items were no longer allowed in the house," she said.
"But I really have had amazing support from him and my family and friends and the group of people at Weight Watchers," she added.
Martin also attributed some of her success to her exercise regimen. "Exercise is now a part of the happiness in my life and without it, I feel incomplete."
Martin works out with a personal trainer at the YWCA.
"I work out with Emily Bucher at the YWCA and that is where I go for my zen. Emily keeps me motivated."
Bucher said that she foresees Martin reaching her goal weight without any problems. "She always comes in ready to work and she really likes for me to push her. I have never seen anyone lose this much and I know she will reach her goal and stay there with no trouble," she said.
Martin has a goal weight of 160 to 180 pounds, which according to her doctor, would be fine for her five-foot-six-inch frame.
"I want to see where my body wants to be. I want to find that happy weight that makes my body feel right," she said.
Bucher also said that she admires Martin. "She has done this all the natural way and that is so inspirational," she added.
In total, Martin has lost 236.6 pounds; 201.6 since starting Weight Watchers.
"I have never had anyone in the program lose this much," said Bonfiglio.
At the Weight Watchers meeting on May 23, Bonfiglio told her group to look at Martin for motivation.
"You can all be Colleens," she said.
When asked what advice she would have for others who want to make such a big lifestyle change, Martin said that keeping focused is key. "Find out what your 'why' is, and concentrate on that. Come back to that reason when you are struggling. You have to want to lose weight for no one but yourself," she said.
|ROCK BOTTOM - at her heaviest, Martin weighed 435 pounds.|
|PROUD PAIR - Colleen Martin, 27, this week with Weight Watchers meeting leader Joni Bonfiglio. "Joni has been awesome and she really just made it all click for me," Martin said of her dramatic and determined weight loss.|