FRESHMAN 15 X 2: I was fairly thin and active in high school, but in college my eating habits went out the window. I was sedentary, not playing sports anymore. So for me the "Freshman 15" was a lot more than 15.
MOTIVATION: I transferred home [to the University of St. Thomas] my junior year of college. A friend of mine and I joined a gym together, but 30 minutes on the lowest level of the elliptical didn't do anything. Then two years ago, my boyfriend's dad died. He was seemingly in perfect health. It made me realize that life is really short, and mostly out of our control. But this was in my control: I was unhealthy, and I had the power to change it.
THE POWER OF FRIENDSHIP: A friend and I made a resolution: Another friend was getting married in October, so we made that our goal. We joined Weight Watchers and started watching portion sizes. We went to the gym together. I didn't look at it in numbers -- I wanted my clothes to fit better and to be comfortable in my skin for the wedding. I had a healthy weight range, and last fall I made it: I lost 63 pounds. I couldn't have done it without friends. We still go to the gym together every morning before work.
AN HOUR A DAY: I do an hour of cardio four to five times a week, usually either the treadmill or the elliptical. I'm not much for running, so to get my heart rate up, I do intervals. I'll put the incline really high and walk fast while lifting weights. Three times a week I also lift weights.
PHOTO ON THE FRIDGE: My boyfriend and I were looking through old pictures, and it's funny to look back because at the time, neither one of us quite realized [how out of shape I was]. I was at that point where I thought I was just supposed to be fat, that it was in my blood, that I couldn't lose the weight. But you can. Anybody can. And it's definitely worth it.
MOVING FORWARD: I knew it was about making lifestyle changes, not being on a diet. I was making it part of how I live, so it's not hard to keep it off. I just keep going along like I have been. I keep up my routine of going to the gym five to six days a week, eating healthy and making good choices as often as I can.
SHEILA MULROONEY ELDRED