Losing Weight A Pound, Inch At A Time

Thirty-six-year-old Caroline Justo has struggled with her weight throughout her life, and says she was always “one of the bigger girls.” But when the scale reached 200 pounds for the first time late last year, she decided it was time to get serious.

“I was like, wow, I can’t keep doing this,” she recalls. “That was my wake-up call.”


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Caroline Justo before | Photos courtesy Caroline Justo

Coincidentally, at the start of the new year, her company, Hawaii Pacific Health, hosted a weight-loss challenge for its employees. She and four co-workers entered as a team, finishing third out of 99 teams.

She also entered the Pali Momi 12-Week Wellness Challenge at Pearlridge Center, and ended with the highest total of points accumulated based on every pound lost; each inch lost from the neck, chest, waist, hip and thigh; and every BMI pinch-test number lost. She was the winner among 145 other participants, and was awarded a $500 Pearlridge shopping spree and a photo package from Expressions Portrait Design.

“During my lunch hour I would go to the gym and spend 30 minutes on the treadmill or the elliptical,” says Justo, an IT specialist.

“And then I felt comfortable with exercising more, so if I had time I would go after work, too.

“I also cut out junk food, fast food and soda. I tried to cut rice, too, and I changed to a more pescetarian diet.”

She also used the Lose It app to track her calorie intake and a Polar heart rate monitor to track how many calories she would lose during a workout session. She also exercised on weekends, and prepped her meals for the week on Sundays.

After 12 weeks, Justo dropped from 198 pounds to 166 pounds – a total of 32 pounds. She also lost 31-and-a-half inches total from her neck, waist, chest, hip and thighs, including 12 inches from her waist.

“I was kind of in shock because I’ve tried for so long to lose weight,” she says. “It was hard to imagine that, wow, I actually did it.”

In addition to the contests, Justo says seeing the transformation in old and new photos also helped motivate her, as well as being surrounded by people who were supportive.

“I’m not done yet,” says Justo, who is planning to get married next year. “I still have a long way to go. Ultimately, I think I’d like to lose another 30 pounds.

“I’ve come to realize that every little thing helps. You’ve just got to keep going.”