Lisa Annunziata was 150 pounds when she got married but then life happened.
Having two sons in ther late 20s and with a high-powered job, vice-president of human resources of an architecture building company, she grew larger.
“Between having my first son, traveling, working, and not going to the gym anymore with my husband, I stopped taking care of myself. I focused on everybody else, my job, and let myself go,” Annunziata, 54, shared with PEOPLE.
Annunziata originally weighed 280 lbs. and did her very best to hide it all.
“I paid the money to get the good suits, and my hair and makeup were always perfect because I was compensating for being fat,” she says. “Everyone always said I had a pretty face, and that I hid it well.”
In addition to her poor eating habits, Annunziata would eat well at dinner with her husband and her two sons, both of them collegiate baseball players, but would snack all day in her office and consume pints of ice cream when no one else was home.
She says she attempted every kind of diet imaginable but “always gave up.”
“I said this was as good as it’s going to get,” she says. “This is me, this is it.”
But Annunziata was also having health issues from high blood pressure due to excessive snoring to knee trouble and while on a trip to tour colleges with her younger son, she discovered she was not able to go up a big set of stairs.
“I tried to walk up and be cool about it, but I couldn’t breathe,” she says. “My husband and son knew it, and I could just see the way they were looking at me, that they were embarrassed. That broke my heart, because you don’t want your family to be embarrassed about you.”
In addition, Annunziata oversaw the benefits program at work and was about to initiate a huge wellness push for the company’s employees.
“I couldn’t ask the company employees to get healthy if I was morbidly obese,” she says. “It just sets the wrong example, coming from the top.”
Annunziata then decided to try Nutrisystem as her “last shot.” And once she began the program in Feb. 2018, she “never looked back.”
With the meals delivered straight to her house, Annuziata was consistently losing about 2.5 pounds a week.
“I never thought I was on a diet, and I think it’s because they did all the work for me,” she says. “I didn’t have to think about what I was going to eat, and it allowed me to work on the how of how I was going to change my life.”
Additionally, Annunziata also began to walk a regular 3.5 mile route around her neighborhood or on the treadmill on an incline as well as weightlighting to tighgten up her skin.
Now, she is 120 pounds lighter and wants to lose about 10 pounds before going into maintenance. But she admits that she already feels like a “brand new person.”
“I feel like I’m 20 years old again,” she says. “And I don’t worry about stairs.”
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