Two years ago, 5’5” Gwyn Eggestein weighed 293 pounds. She was a size 26 and wore a 3XL T-shirt. She wore maternity pants or pants with an elastic band. She couldn’t fit in restaurant booths. Her stomach hit the steering wheel when she drove.
“I was miserable,” she said. “I kept saying to myself, ‘I know what to do, but I can’t find the motivation.’”
Now Eggestein is 193 pounds and hopes to eventually reach 150 pounds. She works out five days a week, eats healthier and is training for the Chicago Marathon. Eggestein also blogs to inspire others, called "Gwynspiration for Weight Loss"
Her weight loss journey began in 2007 when she joined Weight Watchers. She was a size 16 before taking a hiatus between 2008 and 2011. A friend on Facebook posting about her own weight loss prompted Gwyn to get back to the program. She joined again in July but admits she wasn't participating in the program.
At Christmas 2011, she had gained 20 more pounds. She ate what was available to and from work, like a candy bar or a donut at a gas station or McDonald’s.
“I didn’t fit in a chair at my grandma’s,” Eggestein said. “That’s when my grandma said, ‘Why don’t you and I join Weight Watchers together?’”
Returning to Weight Watchers, Eggestein also joined Zip Fitness and on New Year’s Eve, counted her chips and shrimp cocktail.
Connecting with others online got her to her goal, she said.
“Without Weight Watchers meetings and talking to people on Facebook, I don’t know where I would have been,” she said. “Social networking really helped with this journey the second time around.”
She’s down to her high school weight of 193 pounds, but says she’s healthier now than she was then with more muscle mass.
Her grandmother, now 90, has lost 55 pounds.
Zip Fitness in Bolingbrook will host a party to celebrate Gwyn’s 100-pound-loss next week.
“I smile more,” Eggestein said. “I have more energy and more confidence. I believe everyone’s worth of all this. I don’t think anyone should feel alone in this. We eat together; we should lose weight together.”