Lifestyle Health Half Their Size 2017: Weight-Loss Winners Share Their Success Stories How 7 dedicated dieters transformed their bodies By Michelle Ward Trainor Published on January 16, 2017 01:36 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Trending Videos 01 of 07 JESSICA LINZ, 31 Lori Mitchell; Leslie McFalls Before: 256 lbs. After: 123 lbs. How She Did It: The mom-of-two turned to Jenny Craig and started exercising. "I run, bike, swim and also take barre and cardio classes," says the Bentonville, Arkansas, resident, who is also training for a half marathon and a half Ironman with her husband. "I learned how strong I am." 02 of 07 LATOYA CARY, 29 LaToya Cary; Sheriece Dabney Before: 294 lbs. After: 146 lbs. How She Did It: "I made a plan and stuck to it," says the Richmond, Virginia, resident, who cut out high-fat foods, practiced portion control and did at least 30 minutes of cardio per week. She's since upped her workouts and added weight training for more definition. Says Cary: "My body feels great." 03 of 07 JAMES MCLAUGHLIN, 36 Andrew McLaughlin; James McLaughlin Before: 358 lbs. After: 176 lbs. How He Did It: McLaughlin joined Weight Watchers and stays on track by following the points-based program. Now he cooks nutritious meals at home with his husband and enjoys long walks in his Spokane, Washington, neighborhood. "I really pay attention to how I feel after I eat," he says. "I feel my best when I eat healthy and don't overindulge." 04 of 07 STACEY BENTLEY, 43 Stacey Bentley(2) Before: 340 lbs. After: 166 lbs. How She Did It: She signed up for Atkins and adopted a low-carb lifestyle. The El Mirage, Arizona-based Bentley also started working out, and — after reaching her goal weight — had skin removal surgery. "It was the final step to becoming the new me!" 05 of 07 TIM BUCHANAN, 40 Tim Buchanan; Charles D'Angelo Before: 420 lbs. After: 210 lbs. How He Did It: "My diet put me in the correct mindset and changed my relationship with food," says the father of four, who enlisted St. Louis-based weight-loss and life coach Charles D'Angelo to help him lose half his size. Now Buchanan starts the day with cardio and continues to eat six, small, nutrient-dense meals per day. 06 of 07 BRI BLANK, 24 Mary Panico; Kara Riggio Before: 306 lbs. After: 156 lbs. How She Did It: The Brooklyn-based Blank researched healthy foods she could eat and used MyFitnessPal to count calories. After losing 50 lbs. in four months, she joined a gym — and now she has a personal-trainer certification. "I have helped my mom lose over 100 lbs!" says Blank, who also started a blog to inspire others. 07 of 07 GINA LASSALES, 44 Gina Lassales(2) Before: 300 lbs. After: 120 lbs. How She Did It: "I overhauled my entire diet," says the Port St. Lucie, Florida, resident, who gave up sugar, processed foods and swapped starches like pasta for veggie-heavy salads. Lassales also started wearing a Fitbit and talking long walks. Now she logs about 15,000 steps per day.