When Nancy Bandy noticed her twin, Lynda Parmelee, was successfully losing weight by following a strict diet program, she knew she too had to kickstart her weight loss journey.
So Nancy, 47, signed up for Nutrisystem and the sisters started dieting and exercising — and have since lost a combined 88 pounds!
"I feel amazing! Life is so good now," Nancy, who lost 30 pounds in a year, exclusively told Closer Weekly. "I feel like a new person!" Lynda, also 47, told the magazine of her 58-pound weight loss over nine months.
Read on to see how the Canadian sisters shed the weight!
Lynda and Nancy before their weight loss. (Photo Credit: Nancy Bandy and Lynda Parmelee)
What was your life like before the weight loss?
LYNDA: At 170 pounds, I had low energy, was unhappy, depressed and lacked my previous self-confidence. I avoided having my picture taken and when I was in a photo, I deleted or cropped myself out of them.
NANCY: Everything changed when I turned 35-years-old. I ate out too much, ate too many comfort foods and treats and consumed large portions. When I got pregnant, it was hard for me to lose the pregnancy weight. When I reached 159 pounds, my self esteem was very low, my clothes didn't fit and I had zero energy. It was exhausting to try to exercise with a large body on a small, 5'2" frame.
How did you get started with your weight loss journey?
LYNDA: In 2013, I welcomed my son Owen after many painful years of infertility. I saw pictures of myself holding him in the hospital and thought I looked fat and awful. I was so ashamed of how I looked that I didn't want to share pictures of this joyful time with others in my life and it broke my heart. I had previously tried other diets and nothing worked for me. But after seeing those pictures of me with my son, I knew I had to do something, so I went online, read about Nutrisystem and ordered the program that night.
NANCY: I was in awe of how well the program was working for Lynda. She kept asking me over and over “Have you ordered your food yet?” I thought, “How can I make this work?” as I value sitting down with my family for our evening meals. But my husband was very encouraging, so finally as a late Valentine’s Day present to myself, I started the weight loss program. It started working immediately!
Lynda and Nancy after their weight loss. (Photo Credit: Nutrisystem)
How did your diet and exercise habits change?
LYNDA: My diet changed dramatically after starting my diet program. I learned to eat more protein, eat first thing in the morning and not to skip meals or snacks. All this new info combined with eating delicious meals taught me how to keep my blood sugar stable and my hunger at bay. For exercise, I started taking my son for 45 minute walks in his stroller, three to four days a week. The weight has just fallen off!
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NANCY: I cut out honey from my diet and cut down on sugary foods, breads and white rice. I started portion-controlling my meals and now eat meals and snacks six times a day, every two to three hours. I eat lots of vegetables — I crave carrots, cherry tomatoes and cucumber all the time! I also love eating hummus, tatziki and fruit. As for exercise, I've continued running and practicing yoga and added soccer and cross-fit to my workout routine.
How does it feel now that you've lost the weight?
LYNDA: I feel like a new person! My energy level has returned to normal so I can now keep up with my seriously active toddler. I look amazing — people hardly recognize me and I still look in the mirror and can't believe I have this great figure! I went from a size 16 to a size 4 — now I have to now go out and buy a whole new wardrobe!
NANCY: I feel amazing! Life is so good now. Since I lost the weight, my energy has come back and I’m now leading the girls in my running group for a change — it feels great!
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