January 08, 2007 12:00 PM

FRACTURED HER LEFT FOOT

LORETTA BEGG

• THE CRISIS

After losing a total of 65 lbs. between 1998 and 2004, Begg relied on ballroom dancing to stay a slender 124 lbs. Then during a June 2005 dance rehearsal, she suffered a fracture of her left foot.

• HOW SHE FACED IT

“I thought, ‘There’s no way I’m gaining this weight back,'” Begg, 39, recalls. She worked with a trainer and, during the six months it took her to heal, kept her 5’6″ body toned lifting weights for an hour twice a week.

• HER BODY NOW

The Bethesda, Md., sales coach enjoys a diet of mostly chicken, fruit and vegetables—and got the all-clear to dance again during a doctor’s visit in December 2005. Says Begg: “That was the happiest day of my life.”

GOT PREGNANT WITH BABY NO. 2

NNEDI UZOWIHE-IGWE

• THE CRISIS

When Uzowihe-Igwe, 32, learned she was expecting a second baby, “I was a little concerned” about gaining weight, she admits. After all, during her first pregnancy, with daughter Treesta, now 3, Uzowihe-Igwe ballooned to 330 lbs.

• HOW SHE FACED IT

Although she says she resisted junk food cravings by reaching for fruit and frozen yogurt, the 5’9″ Uzowihe-Igwe gained 45 pregnancy pounds. So six weeks after giving birth to daughter Savanna on July 18, the Baltimore-area resident started daily hour-long treadmill workouts and 40-minute weightlifting sessions and went back on the Medifast diet (protein shakes three times daily, plus a dinner of grilled chicken and veggies).

• HER BODY NOW

Down to 180 lbs.—just 10 lbs. over her pre-baby weight—Uzowihe-Igwe says her only goals are “to exercise and cook healthy.”

HER HUSBAND LEFT HER

SUSAN MARCELLA

• THE CRISIS

In December 2005 Marcella came home from work to find a note from her husband of seven years saying that “he was leaving and not coming back,” she recalls. Distraught, she found herself “tempted to gorge myself on anything salty.”

• HOW SHE FACED IT

Having lost 105 lbs. since 2002 with the help of Jenny Craig, Marcella, 33, once again turned to her diet counselor for support. “Instead of grabbing food, I grabbed the phone,” she says. The 5’2″ Renton, Wash., social worker also hit the elliptical machine six days a week.

• HER BODY TODAY

Marcella has maintained a weight of 128 lbs. by adding strength training to her workouts. With her divorce final, “taking care of myself,” she says, “is just something I need to do.”

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