Starting a diet? Weigh-loss challenger offers advice, inspiration

Emily Edwards reflects on her year-long weight-loss challenge

By Paul Giorgio - Producer

ORLANDO, Fla. - It's not like she thought it would be easy, but Emily Edwards is still amazed at how difficult it has been to meet her weight-loss goals.

Those goals are primarily to lose 100 pounds in a year.

It's all part of Lake Mary Healthy Living Magazine's "Take the Challenge."

"It's been just that, a challenge." She says as she reflects on the last nine months. Emily is the "Ambassador" or public face of the challenge, and people across Central Florida are following her progress as a source of inspiration for their own weight loss goals.

There's no fad diets here, she's doing it by living a healthier lifestyle. In other words, diet and exercise.

"Every day I've gotten up and made the right choices and eaten the right thing or gotten my butt moving when I didn't want to," she said.

To date she's lost nearly 60 pounds and eight pant sizes.

She's quick to point out though that life throws you plenty of curve balls and you have to be ready to accept the test.

Emily points to time management as a major obstacle. With a full time job and family obligations, getting to workouts can be difficult at times.

The challenge rewards her with free workouts, yoga classes, nutrition advice and counseling. The catch is, with traffic, they are often close to an hour away from her home and work.

Another obstacle, getting her family on board. She says they're all eating healthy now but for months she ate salads and fruit while her husband and kids had pizza and soda.

"At the beginning they were so resistant to this," she says. "Now after nine months, seeing the changes in them it's exciting to know that we'll be able to live a healthy life together."

The contest ends at the end of June, so with less than 100 days left Emily says her focus is squarely on meeting her goal. 

"I think every day is a challenge. There's no one thing that has remained a constant. Each time I come across something I overcome it and then it will be something else."

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