2 Women Share How They Collectively Lost 100s of Pounds

PHOTO: Joanne Raymond, 49, who lost 132 lbs., shared her weight-loss journey with People magazine and "Good Morning America."PlayCourtesy Joanne Raymond
WATCH 2 Women Share How They Collectively Lost Hundreds of Pounds

Two women who each lost over one hundred pounds shared their secrets and tips for how they were able to shed the weight today on "Good Morning America" and in People magazine's "Half Their Size" issue.

"These women have an incredible mindset," Catherine Kast, staff editor at People magazine said today. "They have developed methods to help them keep [the weight] off."

Joanne Raymond, 49, a mother of two from Pennsylvania, said that she lost a total of 133 pounds, after going from 249 pounds to her current weight of 116 pounds.

"As I approached 50," Raymond said, "Looking in the mirror ... I was shocked at the belly that I now had, and no clothes fit. ... I've gained and lost hundreds of pounds and each time I gained it back."

Raymond said she turned to fitness apps, looking for something that would help her "stay on track."

"I weigh myself every day," Raymond added. "When my weight goes up a little bit, I moderate my diet. I've been there two other times and I'm not going back. Whatever the number is, I'm not upset by it and I don't fixate on it. Instead, I use it to empower me to make good choices."

She said she plans out her meals the night before and relies on an app called MyFitnessPal to track her meals and strictly eats only three meals a day with no snacking in between.

"No snacking at all," Raymond said. "I used to graze pretty much all day long. It’s about telling myself: 'You get to eat three times a day. That's it.'"

PHOTO: People magazine features the weight loss stories of Oprah Winfrey and everyday Americans in its latest issue.People magazine
People magazine features the weight loss stories of Oprah Winfrey and everyday Americans in its latest issue.

Lindita Halimi, 27, an aspiring entertainer from Kosovo in Eastern Europe, lost a total of 130 pounds; dropping from 250 pounds to 120 pounds. She also kept the weight off for four years and can now squat 355 pounds.

Halimi said her poor eating habits began when she was growing up in war-torn Kosovo, where she didn't know when she would be able to get her next meal.

"We were refugees," Halimi said. "We boiled leaves, and we ate that just to survive.

"After we all got back home," Halimi added, "I had this mentality of, 'Let me eat now 'cause I don't know when I'm going to eat later.'"

Halimi said she reached her heaviest weight of 250 pounds in her late teens, following years of overeating. She says she hit rock-bottom after she won an Albanian singing competition in 2009.

"Every magazine I was opening, every page I was turning to, there was something about ... my weight," Halimi said, "and all the criticism started to affect me.

"I knew I had to make a change," she continued. She began her weight-loss journey, crediting working out with transforming her health.

"I drastically changed my diet and started walking since I couldn't run or jog, but it wasn't until I started lifting weights that I really lost the weight," Halimi said. "I like weights because they pump you. They give you energy."

Both women share their full stories in People magazine's “Half Their Size,” issue, which is currently on newsstands nationwide.

PHOTO: Lindita Halimi, who went from 250 lbs. to 120 lbs., for a total weight loss of 130 lbs., shared her weight-loss story with People magazine and Good Morning America. Courtesy Lindita Halimi
Lindita Halimi, who went from 250 lbs. to 120 lbs., for a total weight loss of 130 lbs., shared her weight-loss story with People magazine and "Good Morning America."

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