ESM Podcast: Episode #15: 115lb Weight Loss Success Story—72 Year-Old Betty Lou Sweeney


Like so many of us, 72 year-old Betty Lou Sweeney spent years battling her weight.

As a child, she lived in several foster homes and endured abuse. Those childhood wounds, along with the stresses of life, fueled a sugar addiction that lead her to gain a great deal of weight. At her highest, she weighed 250lbs.

After spending years dieting and then gaining the weight back (plus more) as well as dealing with various serious health issues, at age 69, Betty Lou knew she had to make a choice—either lose weight and get healthy or die.

On her own, she began to slowly lose weight, but when she connected with personal trainer Dave Candra at her local gym things began to dramatically change. Over the course of three years, Betty Lou lost 115lbs, and became healthy and strong—so strong in fact, in 2011, she broke the world’s record for holding the plank position for 36 minutes and 58 seconds.

Within this interview, Betty Lou tells of how she lost the weight, how much exercise has changed her life, and offers inspiration for us all.

Enjoy the interview…

Time: 67 minutes


Betty Lou’s Web site

Betty Lou on Facebook

Betty Lou on the Huffington Post

Video featuring Betty Lou:


ESM Podcast: Episode #14: 116lb Weight Loss Success Story—Laina Harris

Photos By: Troy Wayrynen, The Columbian Newspaper


It’s been awhile since I posted an interview, but I promise the one you’re about to hear will make up for my long absence.

With all my past interviews, each person I spoke to had lost a huge amount of weight and was either at, or very close to, their goal weight.

This time, I interviewed a woman, Laina Harris, who has lost a great deal of weight, but is still very much committed to the process of losing weight and getting healthy.

Last year, after the death of her mother, Laina began to approach her own life differently. Weighing over 400lbs, she realized her weight was keeping her from living a full, and content life. She began by changing her diet and walking around her neighborhood. Doing both has lead to a passion for both fresh, whole foods and long, challenging hikes. Also, in the midst of her weight loss, her local newspaper is publishing articles detailing her progress.

To date, Laina Harris has lost 116lbs. As you listen to her speak, you’ll hear how the weight loss has lead to many life gains.

Enjoy the interview!

Time: 77 minutes


Laina’s blog.

Laina on Twitter.

Laina on Facebook.

The Columbian newspaper articles profiling Laina: May, 2012, July, 2012, and September 2012.


ESM Podcast: Episode #13: 110lb Weight Loss Success Story—Lisa Eirene

It has been ages since the last episode of the ESM podcast. My excuse is that it’s been a busy summer. However, I’m back and have several new interviews coming up including the one you’re about to hear.

On her blog, Lisa Eirene says reaching her highest weight of 255 lbs was because of “unhealthy food choices, sugar addiction, medications, laziness, and depression”.

In 2006, after her doctor warned her she was pre-diabetic, Lisa focused on, not just losing weight, but also easing herself off of the several medications she was taking.

It took her two years to lose 110lbs. In the midst of her weight loss, she became passionate about eating healthy and becoming more active, and athletic, than she had ever been.

Enjoy the interview.

Time: 57 minutes


Lisa’s blog:

Lisa on Twitter

Lisa on Facebook


ESM Podcast: Episode #11: 170lb Weight Loss Success Story—Heather Robertson

All too often we find ourselves so busy. Whether you’re a parent, going to school, or trying to keep up with the demands of your job, many of us, at one time or another, have neglected our health and felt our weight creep up while we focused on other things in our lives. We always want to take better care of ourselves, but it can be hard to find the time and/or the energy.

If this resonates with you, I think you’ll find this episode’s interview relatable and inspiring.

Five years ago, after the birth of her first son, Heather Robertson weighed 313lbs. Her weight fluctuated as she went through two more pregnancies. In 2010, after her third child was born, Heather joined Weight Watchers, began going to weekly meetings, and started working out at a neighborhood gym.

Over the years, she lost 108lb within 18 months and the remaining 60lbs between pregnancies. Not only does she feel better physically, her confidence is higher than it’s ever been, and she has made the commitment to help other women lose weight.

Enjoy the interview.

Time: 74 minutes


Heather’s Web site news article about Heather


ESM Podcast: Episode #10: 100lb Weight Loss Success Story—Justin Smith

There was a time when Justin Smith couldn’t imagine what life was like not being overweight.

At the beginning of 2010, he was 100lbs overweight. After a dire warning from his doctor, he got serious about losing his excess weight.

Within this interview, Justin talks about the many years he spent being overweight, the mindset change that got him started with his weight loss journey, and how he went from working out at home to now having a total passion for running marathons.

Enjoy the interview.

Time: 60 minutes


Justin on Tumblr

Justin on Twitter

Huffington Post article about Justin’s weight loss


ESM Podcast: Episode #8: 300lb Weight Loss Success Story—Hattie Montgomery

Weighing over 500lbs, Hattie Montgomery felt as though she was on the verge of dying.

Besides the excess weight, she was carrying emotional hurt after enduring years of being bullied as an overweight teenager as well as the aftermath of a sexual assault that took place in her 20’s.

It was the will to live that gave her the drive and determination to lose 300lbs.

Within this interview, Hattie explains what lead her to get serious about losing weight, how she lost weight, and the changes she experienced along the way.

Her words are profound and truly inspirational.

Enjoy the interview.

Time: 65 minutes


Hattie on Twitter

Hattie on Facebook

Huffington Post article about Hattie’s weight loss


ESM Podcast: Episode #6: 150lb Weight Loss Success Story — Shapely Girl Fitness Founder Debra Mazda

Almost 30 years ago, Debra Mazda weighed nearly 300lbs.

Fueled by a desire to feel better, weigh less, and have a better life, Debra made the decision to start working out at a neighbourhood gym.

Remember, those were the days before the Internet—before we had access to tons of information, could ask experts questions, and could support. It was also before we could choose from thousands of workout DVDs and do our workouts from home. Also, this was a time when morbid obesity was rare. For Debra, walking into a gym wasn’t just a brave thing to do, it was a life changer.

Not only did she lose 150lbs, but she went on to become a fitness instructor and founder of Shapely Girl Fitness.

Over the years, Debra has opened, and maintained a fitness studio and created a collection of workout DVDs and motivational CDs. Her down to earth personality and empathy for people of all sizes and fitness levels has garnered her loyal fans who describe her as “encouraging”, “a great motivator”, and “sassy”.

Within this interview, Debra shares her personal story and gives tons of suggestions on losing weight and making workouts a priority.

Time: 84 minutes


Find Debra’s workout DVDs on Amazon

Debra’s Web site

Debra on Twitter

Debra on Facebook